Myles M. Mattenson
5550 Topanga Canyon Blvd.
Suite 200
Woodland Hills, California 91367
Telephone (818) 313-9060
Facsimile (818) 313-9260
Yachts, Sex, And Insurance!

      Myles M. Mattenson engages in a general civil and trial practice including litigation and transactional services relating to the coin laundry and dry cleaning industries, franchising, business, purchase and sale of real estate, easements, landlord-tenant, partnership, corporate, insurance bad faith, personal injury, and probate legal matters.

      In providing services to the coin laundry and dry cleaning industries, Mr. Mattenson has represented equipment distributors, coin laundry and dry cleaning business owners confronted with landlord-tenant issues, lease negotiations, sale documentation including agreements, escrow instructions, and security instruments, as well as fraud or misrepresentation controversies between buyers and sellers of such businesses.

      Mr. Mattenson serves as an Arbitrator for the Los Angeles County Superior Court. He is also past chair of the Law Office Management Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. Mr. Mattenson received his Bachelor of Science degree (Accounting) in 1964 and his Juris Doctorate degree from Loyola University School of Law in 1967.

      Bi-monthly articles by Mr. Mattenson on legal matters of interest to the business community appear in alternate months in The Journal, a leading coin laundry industry publication of the Coin Laundry Association, and Fabricare, a leading dry cleaning industry publication of the International Fabricare Institute. During the period of May 1995 through September 2002, Mr. Mattenson contributed similar articles to New Era Magazine, a coin laundry and dry cleaning industry publication which ceased publication with the September 2002 issue.

      This website contains copies of Mr. Mattenson's New Era Magazine articles which can be retrieved through a subject or chronological index. The website also contains copies of Mr. Mattenson's Journal and Fabricare articles, which can be retrieved through a chronological index.

      In addition to Mr. Mattenson's trial practice, he has successfully prosecuted and defended appeals on behalf of his clients in various areas of the law. Some of these appellate decisions are contained within his website.

Yachts, Sex, And Insurance!

     During the past four decades, this country has experienced a
sexual revolution which has brought about many consequences.  One
of  the unpleasant consequences has been the substantial increase
in  sexually transmitted disease.  This problem has compelled the
need  for  increased candor among couples contemplating a  sexual
relationship.    Some  individuals are  quite  open  about  their
sexual  history  and any sexually transmitted diseases  they  may
have contracted.  Others, unfortunately, disclose nothing.

      As couples confront these challenges more frequently, so do
the  courts as an increasing number of plaintiffs sue for damages
for  having contracted a sexually transmitted disease from  their

      In a recent decision of the Court of Appeals in California,
the  consequences of transmission of herpes, an incurable  sexual
disease,  was considered in the context of an insurance  coverage

      During  1995, a lady instituted a suit in which she alleged
that  she  began dating the defendant during August of  1994  and
began having a sexual relationship with him during the period  of
September  through December of 1994.  In December  of  1994,  she
developed vaginal lesions which were diagnosed as being caused by
the herpes I and II viruses.  According to the decision, she

                "allegedly  confronted  [the  man]  who
          admitted that she was not the first woman who
          had  accused him of transmitting  the  herpes
          virus to her; that he knew he had herpes; and
          that  he  used 'home remedies' to combat  the
          virus.  He also admitted to [her] that during
          their    sexual    relationship,    he    was
          simultaneously    conducting     a     sexual
          relationship  with  another  woman  who   has
          active  herpes I and II viruses and  that  he
          previously had a sexual relationship with yet
          another woman who had the disease."

The  woman  instituted  her suit alleging causes  of  action  for
negligence,  battery, intentional transmission  of  an  incurable
disease, and fraud.

       The  defendant  eventually  settled  with  the  plaintiff,
according to the decision, for "$120,000 and paid his own  lawyer
some $20,000 in attorney's fees."

      Prior to the settlement, the defendant tendered the defense
of  the suit to an insurance carrier which maintained a liability
insurance  policy on his 42-foot yacht harbored  in  Long  Beach.
The  carrier  denied  the request for coverage  and  declined  to
defend him against the suit.

      Why  submit such a lawsuit to the insurance carrier of  his
yacht?  Read further.  The defendant argued that

                "his  yacht  was 'used'  -  within  the
          meaning  of  his boat insurance policy  -  to
          transmit  the herpes virus from his mouth  to
          his  girlfriend's genitals he [reasoned] that
          his  large pleasure craft was 'a sign of  his
          wealth  and  status' which 'fostered  romance
          and sexual conduct' leading ineluctably to  a
          specific of sexual activity - oral copulation
          - which transmitted the pernicious virus."

      The  man  sued his insurance carrier for breach of contract
and  bad  faith,  alleging that the carrier was required  to  pay
damages  "for  any claim or suit covered under [the]  policy  for
bodily  injury . . . for which any insured person becomes legally
liable  through the ownership, maintenance or use of the  insured
boat."   The  trial court granted the insurance carrier's  motion
for summary judgment and the Court of Appeal affirmed.

     The Court of Appeal noted that the movement of the yacht and
its  manner  of  operation was not a contributing  cause  to  the
transmission of herpes.  The Court noted that the man

                "is not claiming that his yacht plunged
          into  a  wave trough, causing him to  stumble
          and  fall,  mouth  open,  onto  [the  lady's]
          vagina.  Rather, the yacht merely provided  a
          situs  -  along  with [his] house  and  [her]
          house  -  wherein [he] executed his  plan  to
          engage  in  a  variety of 'very  free  sexual
          activities' with [her].  This is not the type
          of  boat  'use' contemplated by  [his]  yacht

      The moral of the story?  By land or by sea - silence is not
always golden.  If you plan to kiss, you must tell!

[This column is intended to provide general information only  and
is  not intended to provide specific legal advice; if you have  a
specific  question  regarding the  law,  you  should  contact  an
attorney  of your choice.  Suggestions for topics to be discussed
in this column are welcome.]

Reprinted from New Era Magazine
Myles M. Mattenson  1998-2002