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Appellate Court Update for October 2023

Trusts and estates “Personal property” as used in Probate Code §850 does not mean communications and documents from the administration of a temporary conservatorship estate. Section 850 is not to be used by a claimant to obtain communications and documents generated by a temporary conservator. Parker v. Schwarcz, case no. A165163 First Appellate District October 20, 2022

Arbitration A retailer added an online arbitration provision to its customer loyalty program three years after Plaintiff signed up. Plaintiff’s membership was automatically renewed four times. Plaintiff later joined a class action lawsuit against the retailer. The Court of Appeal held that Plaintiff’s lawyer’s knowledge of the arbitration provision could not be considered imputed to Plaintiff and that constructive knowledge of the arbitration provision was not sufficient to compel arbitration of Plaintiff’s claims. Costa v. Road Runner Sports, case no. D079393 Fourth Appellate District October 18, 2022

Insurance coverage COVID-19 is a “communicable disease event” under a commercial property policy of insurance. Amy’s Kitchen’s need to clean or disinfect infected or potentially infected covered property during the COVID-19 pandemic constituted “direct physical loss or damage” to property within meaning of communicable disease coverage extension in its commercial property policy. Coverage was triggered by communicable disease event causing costs to be incurred to “Mitigate, contain, remediate, treat, clean, detoxify, disinfect, neutralize, cleanup, remove, dispose of, test for, monitor, and assess the effects [of] the communicable disease.” Amy’s Kitchen, Inc. v. Fireman’s Fund Ins. Co., case no. A163767, 2 First Appellate District October 4, 2022

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