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Anti-SLAPP Motion Re Publication of Medical Information, Plus Decisions In Government Law Matters

By FindLaw Staff on August 19, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Util. Consumers' Action Network v. Pub. Util. Comm'n of the State of California, D055666, involved a plaintiff's petition for a writ of review challenging Public Utilities Commission of the State of California (Commission) decision granting San Diego Gas and Electric Company's (SDG&E) application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity to construct a transmission project. 


In denying the petition, the court held that the Commission's application of the preponderance of the evidence standard was the correct standard of proof.  Also, the Commission properly considered oral argument and other facts cited by plaintiff.  Lastly, the court held that the Commission considered the feasible, cost-effective alternatives.

Rivera v. First Databank, Inc., G042377, concerned a challenge to the trial court's denial of defendant's anti-SLAPP motion, in plaintiffs' suit for negligence and breach of contract against a publisher of medication information, referred to as "monographs", claiming that defendant was negligent in preparing the Paxil monograph given to plaintiff-decedent (who committed suicide shortly after he began to use the medication for stress), because it should have included the so-called "black box" suicide warning issued by the FDA.

In reversing the judgment, the court held that the trial court erred in finding the publication of the monograph is not "free speech in connection with public issue or an issue of public interest, and defendant has shown that the contents of the monographs fall within the statute.  The court also held that section 425.17(c) does not bar the anti-SLAPP motion.  Further, the plaintiffs failed to demonstrate that defendant owed them any duty as defendant is neither the manufacturer of Paxil, nor the pharmacy dispensing it, and plaintiffs' breach of contract claim fails as they failed to substantiate their allegations that defendant owed them any duty vis-a-vis the monograph.

Farr v. County of Nevada, C061848, involved a property owner's challenge of the Nevada County Assessment Appeals Board's property tax assessment decision for his owner-occupied, single family home.  In reversing the trial court's judgment in favor of the Board, the court remanded the matter in concluding that the Board violated section 167(a) and failed to accord plaintiff the presumption affecting the burden of proof in is favor as required by section 167(a).

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