Walker v. San Francisco Housing Authority, 100 Cal. App. 4th 685 (2002)

Thelma Walker was employed as a “journeyman painter” for the San Francisco Housing Authority (SFHA). In her lawsuit against the SFHA and her foreman, Walker alleged that she had been subjected to severe and pervasive sexual harassment, defamation, invasion of privacy, and interference with prospective economic advantage and assault, among other things. During the course of the lawsuit, Walker filed three motions to compel the production of documents, and requested sanctions. When the SFHA failed after more than nine months to produce the documents that the trial court had ordered produced, the court granted Walker’s motion for a terminating sanction, ordered SFHA’s answer stricken, and awarded Walker $30,000 in monetary sanctions. At the prove-up hearing, Walker was awarded more than $1.6 million in damages. The Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment.