(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this elder abuse/wrongful death case and its proceedings.)
PLAINTIFFS’ THIRTEENTH CAUSE OF ACTION FOR UNFAIR BUSINESS PRACTICES STATES A CLAIM.
The Unfair Practices Act, Business & Professions Code section 17200, prohibits any unlawful business practice. (B&P Code Section 17200). By prohibiting any unlawful business practice, Section 172000 borrows’ violations of other laws and treats them as unlawful practices that the unfair practices act makes independently actionable. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. v. Superior Court (1996) 45 Cal.App.4th 1093,1103 (single quotes in the original). The Unfair Practices Act’s coverage is sweeping, embracing anything that can properly be called a business practice and that at the same time is forbidden by law. Cel-Tech Communications Inc. v. Los Angles Cellular Telephone Company (1999) 20 Cal.4th 163, 180.
In People v. Casa Blanca Convalescent Home (1984) 159 Cal.App.3d 509,530, the court held that a corporation’s practice of understaffing its nursing homes was an unfair business practice within Section 17200. Here, plaintiffs, like the plaintiffs in Casa Blanca Convalescent Home, by pleading valid causes of action for violation of the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act, and alleging that defendants’ conduct is part of a general business practice, stated a claim for Unfair Business Practices also raised a triable issue of fact as to unfair business practices.
PLAINTIFFS REQUEST LEAVE TO AMEND WITH RESPECT TO THE FOURTEENTH CAUSES OF ACTION FOR BREACH OF CONTRACT
Defendants are correct that plaintiffs’ cause of action for breach of contract is defective, and plaintiffs request leave to amend to allege breach of oral and written contract. Plaintiffs also request leave to add a claim for punitive damages on the breach of contract claim, based on defendants conduct in fraudulently inducing them to enter a contract with defendants.
See Las Palmas Associates v. Las Palmas Center Associates (1991) 235 Cal.App.3d 1220,1239 (punitive damages on breach of contract claim where defendants fraudulently induced plaintiffs to enter into contract). Plaintiffs concede that the demurrer as to the Fifteen Cause of Action is well-placed, and that the claim may be dismissed.
In view of the foregoing statements of fact and law, plaintiffs request this court overrule defendants’ demurrer except as to the Fourth Cause of Action with respect to David Brown as an individual, and the Fourteenth and Fifthteenth Causes of Action for breach of contract and breach of the covenant of good faith. Plaintiffs request leave to amend with respect to the Fourth Cause of Action, the Fourteenth Cause of Action, and any other cause of action to which the court sustains the demurrer.
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.