2015-00825820
Coe vs. Board of Trustee of the California State University

The demurrer by defendants Board of Trustees of the California State University and Raman Unnikrishnan to the Second Amended Complaint is sustained in part and overruled in part.

The demurrer is overruled as to the first cause of action for breach of contract.

The demurrer by defendant Board of Trustees of the California State University as to the second cause of action for breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing is sustained, with 10 days leave to amend, based on failure to state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action.? (CCP 430.10(e).)? ?Tort recovery for noninsurance contract breach is generally precluded, at least in the absence of violation of an independent duty arising from principles of tort law.?? (3 Witkin, Cal. Proc. 4th, Chapter IV, ?Actions,? Section 166A.?? ?Generally, outside the insurance context, a tortious breach of contract … may be found when (1) the breach is accompanied by a traditional common law tort, such as fraud or conversion; (2) the means used to breach the contract are tortious, involving deceit or undue coercion; or, (3) one party intentionally breaches the contract intending or knowing that such a breach will cause severe, unmitigable harm in the form of mental anguish, personal hardship, or substantial consequential damages.? (Robinson Helicopter Co., Inc. v. Dana Corp. (2004) 34 Cal.4th 979, 990.)? Here, the Second Amended Complaint does not allege any other tort duty on the part of defendant Board of Trustees.? The only other cause of action alleged against this moving party is breach of contract; the remaining claims are alleged against defendant Unnikrishnan only.? Thus, there is no separate tort duty that defendant Board of Trustees is alleged to have breached which can support this cause of action as to this defendant.

While plaintiff does allege tort claims against defendant Raman Unnikrishnan, the demurrer to those causes of action is sustained, as noted below; the demurrer by defendant Raman Unnikrishnan to the second cause of action for ?tortious breach? is accordingly also sustained, for the reasons noted above with regard to defendant Board of Trustees, with 10 days leave to amend.

The demurrer by defendant Raman Unnikrishnan to the Third through Eighth Causes of action is sustained, with 10 days leave to amend, on the basis that allegations of fraud, corruption and malice must be pled with factual specificity.? This applies both to the allegations relied upon to comply with Government Code section 822.2, and to the allegations asserted in support of the claims based on intentional misrepresentation (Seventh Cause of Action) and negligent misrepresentation (Eighth Cause of Action).? See, e.g., Robinson Helicopter Co., Inc. v. Dana Corp. (2004) 34 Cal.4th 979, 993 (?This particularity requirement necessitates pleading facts which ?show how, when, where, to whom, and by what means the representations were tendered.? (Citation omitted.) We trust the trial courts of this state to enforce this pleading requirement.? ) (Italics in original.)

The motion to strike by defendant Raman Unnikrishnan is moot, in light of the Court?s rulings above.

Moving parties to give notice.