Portenier v. Republic Hogg Robinson, et al.

A woman sued her employer on June 3, 1991 for assault and battery based on her involuntary exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke at work.  She alleged that the company (which provides assistance to its employer clients who required various forms of insurance) was in violation of the Culver City and Los Angeles Municipal Codes which restrict smoking in offices, that the company permitted workers to smoke there even after the Plaintiff had provided the company with notes from a pulmonary specialist advising that she should avoid exposure to cigarette smoke, that she was “subjected to a series of offensive, hostile, intimidating and retaliatory remarks” at work after she had complained about smoke.  In October 1993, a Superior Court commissioner denied the company’s summary judgment motion as to the assault and battery claim but granted its motion to dismiss the claim for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.  The case was settled on March 1, 1994 for an undisclosed amount.  See Shoop, J.G., “First Trial on Assault by Secondhand Smoke Set for April,” Trial, March 1994, 90; and Silverstein, S. and Olmos, D., “Smoldering Legal Issue,” Los Angeles Times, March 31, 1994, D1-D2.

9.1 TPLR 3.30, No. BC 028990 (Los Angeles, CA, Superior Court, 1991).