Attorney Search
Advocacy at a Higher Level

Horvitz & Levy is a solutions-based firm focused on appellate success. We are distinguished by our commitment to responsive service and on-going innovation in the areas of civil appellate litigation, amicus curiae support, and trial strategy consultation.

Our firm history, honors and awards, and locations speak to our collaborative approach and commitment to serving clients as well as the outstanding legal resources we bring to bear.

LEARN MORE ABOUT HORVITZ & LEVY

Horvitz & Levy obtained reversal of a personal injury judgment against a citrus grower due to the trial court’s failure to instruct the jury based on the Privette doctrine.

A citrus grower hired farm-labor contractors to harvest its oranges. Plaintiff, an employee of one of these contractors, was injured when a different contractor’s employee ran into him with a forklift.

Plaintiff and his wife sued several defendants, including the grower. Under California’s longstanding Privette doctrine, a hirer—like the grower here—is generally not liable for injuries to a contractor’s employees. Yet the trial court failed to instruct the jury on this rule of nonliability and its possible exceptions. The jury found the grower liable for more than $1.3 million of plaintiffs’ damages.

The Court of Appeal reversed, holding that the trial court’s failure to give a Privette instruction was prejudicial error requiring a new trial on liability. The Court of Appeal also held that the grower was entitled to judgment as a matter of law on one of plaintiffs’ claims and that the trial court should have given a jury instruction on mitigation of damages.