Plaintiff developer challenged a judgment of the Superior Court of San Diego County (California) in favor of defendants, the State, the State Department of Health Services, the Department’s director, and the former governor, on its promissory estoppel claim. The developer was selected to develop a radioactive waste facility and blamed the failure of the facility being built on the State’s failure to acquire the site from the federal government. Carefully think about incorporating a business.
The trial court found that the developer failed to prove that defendants caused its damages and that the equitable doctrine of unclean hands barred the developer’s recovery. At issue was whether the developer, in pursuing its claim for promissory estoppel, had to prove that defendants caused its damages. In affirming, the court held that, as in ordinary contract actions, a plaintiff seeking recovery on a promissory estoppel theory had to prove that a defendant’s breach was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff’s damages. Even if the court was to conclude that causation was not a necessary element of all promissory estoppel claims, because promissory estoppel was an equitable remedy, courts had the discretion in an appropriate case to deny relief where a plaintiff could not demonstrate that a defendant’s actions caused the plaintiff’s damages. Substantial evidence supported the trial court’s finding that defendants’ actions were not a substantial factor in causing the developer’s damages. The evidence did not support the conclusion that it was likely that the federal government would have transferred the property if requested to do so by the former governor’s administration.
The court affirmed the trial court’s judgment.
Appellants, a messenger service and a client, sought review of the summary judgment from the Superior Court of Los Angeles County (California), which was granted in favor of respondents, two county police chiefs, the horse racing board, and the horse racing park, in appellant’s action to declare Cal. Penal Code § 337(a) was inapplicable, or in the alternative, unconstitutional.
Appellants, a messenger service and a client, challenged the summary judgment granted in favor of respondents, two county police chiefs, the horse racing board, and the horse racing park. Appellants had an agreement that the messenger service would pick up money and instructions to purchase pari-mutuel tickets at the horse racing park and return the same to client. Appellants argued that although their conduct violated Cal. Penal Code § 337(a), Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §§ 19594, 19595 allowed for an exception and that, under present day conditions, the prohibition against receiving, holding, or forwarding money to bet on horse races should be held invalid. The court affirmed the summary judgment enjoining appellants’ activities and held that Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §§ 19593, 19594, 19595 clearly limited pari-mutuel wagering to persons within the horse racing park. The court held that § 19595 had continually and consistently been narrowly construed in light of the broad prohibition against bookmaking. The court held that irrespective of the more relaxed climate for gambling, § 337(a) was not unconstitutional, and wagering via a messenger service was still proscribed by the statute.
The judgment enjoining illegal gambling activities was affirmed because appellant messenger service and clients’ off-track betting scheme was prohibited by a statute that disallowed bookmaking. The statute was constitutional, and there were no applicable exceptions.