News and Events

We are pleased to announce the addition of Ms. Amy Foscalina to our firm. Ms. Foscalina is a civil litigation attorney who has focused her practice on various areas of law with an emphasis on construction defect litigation on behalf of general contractors and developers. For nearly 20 years, she has been helping individuals, municipalities, public agencies and Fortune 500 companies with employment, toxic tort, catastrophic injury defense, mold and water damage claims, and public entity defense, including trials to verdict. On behalf of DR Horton, Amy has argued before the California’s Court of Appeal, resulting in a published opinion in favor of DR Horton. Amy is an executive board member of the American Inns of Court, serving on behalf of the Robert G McGrath Inn in Contra Costa County. Amy graduated from Whittier Law School in Costa Mesa, California, in 1998. Ms. Foscalina will head our Pleasanton Office which also serves all of Northern California.

Bustamante & Gagliasso’s Super Lawyer, Steven Berki, is awarded over $724k in attorney’s fees in District Court… In Gonzales v. City of San Jose, Case No. 5:13-cv-00695-BLF (N.D. Cal. May 26, 2016, Doc. 244), U.S. District Judge Beth Labson Freeman awarded plaintiff recovering $10,000 in an eve-of-trial settlement of a complex civil rights case—where a mother was arrested after son’s involvement in a gang-related murder based on mistaken identity, with a host of police officers involved in the arrest—a total of $724,295 in attorney’s fees under the federal civil rights fee-shifting statute, 42 U.S.C. § 1988. Link

Mr Robert Bustamante, Mr. Robert Gagliasso, and ms. susan hutter have been invited to join the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance We are pleased to announce that Robert Bustamante, Robert Gagliasso, and Susan Hutter have been invited to join the prestigious Claims and Litigation Management Alliance. The CLM is a nonpartisan alliance comprised of thousands of insurance companies, corporations, Corporate Counsel, Litigation and Risk Managers, claims professionals and attorneys. Through education and collaboration the organization’s goals are to create a common interest in the representation by firms of companies, and to promote and further the highest standards of litigation management in pursuit of client defense. Selected attorneys and law firms are extended membership by invitation only based on nominations from CLM Fellows.

B&G SETTLES WRONGFUL DEATH ACTION Robert Gagliasso was co-counsel in a wrongful death action brought against a Summer Camp. The teen camper was killed after camp counselors led her on a very steep and inappropriate biking trail without providing adequate training or doing an assessment of her biking abilities. The case settled for $2.75 Million Dollars, which set a record for a wrongful death settlement in the County in which the case was venued.

B&G SUCCEEDS IN HAVING CLIENT DE-LISTED AS A “RESPONSIBLE PARTY” IN A TOXIC CONTAMINATION CASE When the clients approached B&G, they had been named as responsible parties by the Regional Water Quality Control Board on a PCE Plume and had also been named as defendants in a damages lawsuit. By retaining the appropriate experts and quickly and efficiently analyzing data, B&G was able to have the clients’ position as “RPs” reassessed and have them de-listed as “responsible parties”. Once the “de-listing” reassessment was accomplished, B&G was able to obtain dismissals in the damages lawsuit as well.

B&G SUCCESSFUL IN PURSING SUMMARY JUDGMENT BASED ON PRIVETTE Mary Acquesta successfully pursued a summary judgment in San Diego Superior Court on behalf of a nationwide retailer named as defendant in a construction action and personal injury suit. The Court decided as a matter of law that the Privette line of cases applied and that without evidence of direct and substantive control of the actions leading to the incident, that the owner/client was not subject to liability.

B&G SUCCESSFUL IN PURSUING SUMMARY JUDGMENT BASED ON THREE YEAR STATUTE OF LIMITATION FOR INJURY TO REAL PROPERTY Susan Hutter and Jack Lynch successfully pursued a summary judgment in Contra Costa County Superior Court against a homeowner who had brought suit against her developer alleging that a landslide had injured the property. The plaintiff/homeowner had testified that she was aware of actual damages to her property more than three years prior to the filing of her lawsuit, but had argued that she was unaware that it was related to the original grading and/or development on an ancient landslide. Plaintiff attempted to argue that the notice of the injury and the mechanism of injury was a question of fact for the jury. The Court decided the issue was a matter of law and dismissed the lawsuit in its entirety.

B&G DEFEATS A MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT BROUGHT BY AN ARCHITECT BASED ON AN AIA CONTRACT B&G was representing a general contractor and had filed a cross-complaint for indemnity against the architect who had been retained by the owner. The architect brought a motion for summary judgment arguing that under the terms of the AIA Agreement between owner and general contractor as well as by the terms of the owner and architect’s direct contract, the architect did not owe a duty of care to the general contractor and that if such a duty of care could indeed be found, that the limitation of damages listed in the owner contract would set the limit of indemnity available to the general contractor. B&G successfully opposed the summary judgment arguing that there were factual issues to be determined by a jury as to whether or not all of the actions taken by the architect was within the scope of the contracts, or whether or not it was “extra work” below the standard of care and thereby subject the architect to liability. The limitation of damages argument was equally unsuccessful and the architect’s settlement with B&G’s client all but exhausted its policy limits.

B&G SETTLES TOXIC TORT/CONTAMINATION CASE WITH CITY Robert M. Bustamante and Mary Acquesta have recently successfully settled a soil contamination case with the City of San Jose. A redevelopment by the City had led to the discovery that the homeowner had been living on property since 1964 which had been the site of a City of San Jose incinerator which was heavily contaminated with toxic heavy metals. The successful negotiation with the City included a full and complete remediation of the property with new and improved landscaping and fencing, in addition to a direct payment settlement and future consideration for diminution of value which resulted in the homeowners achieving peace of mind regarding their current ownership of the property and guaranteed future compensation at the time of property transfer.

B&G SUCCESSFUL IN PURSUING SUMMARY JUDGMENT BASED ON A TEN YEAR STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS Jack Lynch successfully pursued a summary judgment in Marin County Superior Court on both the ten year latent and four year patent defect/statutes of limitations relating to a construction defect case. The plaintiff/homeowner's association attempted to argue that the statute of limitations was inapplicable due to the association's filing of a Calderon notice and attempted to create questions of fact for a jury. The court decided the issues as a matter of law and dismissed our client, the general contractor, from the case finding that as a matter of law, the 10 year and 4 year statutes of limitations had run and that plaintiff is barred from pursuing any claim against the general contractor.

JACK LYNCH SUCCESSFULLY OPPOSES MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT BY A GENERAL CONTRACTOR ATTEMPTING TO OBTAIN JUDGMENT BASED ON CONTRACTUAL INDEMNITY In a case venued in Alameda County, the general contractor made demands upon its subcontractor for a defense based on contractual indemnity provisions. Jack Lynch successfully opposed the Motion for Summary Adjudication based on evidentiary irregularities. The successful opposition to this motion led to an early and favorable settlement.

MARY ACQUESTA, SUSAN HUTTER, AND ROBERT BUSTAMANTE SUCESSFULLY OPPOSE A MOTION FOR CLASS CERTIFICATION FILED IN CONTRA COSTA COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT Plaintiffs moved to certify a purported class of over 200 homeowners claiming active landslide movement and over $15 million dollars in damages and injunctive relief.