Toyota v. Superior Court, 189 Cal. App. 4th 1391 (2010)

Steven Braun sued Toyota Motor Sales and his supervisor Randall Bauer for gender discrimination, sexual harassment, defamation, constructive discharge and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress. Toyota and Bauer filed a motion to compel Braun to submit to an independent psychiatric examination, which the trial court granted, but it also permitted Braun’s attorney to be present during the exam in an adjoining room. Toyota and Bauer challenged in this writ proceeding the trial court’s order permitting Braun’s attorney to be present at an adjacent location to monitor the exam. The Court of Appeal granted the peremptory writ of mandate after concluding the trial court had erred in permitting Braun’s attorney to listen to and monitor the examination: “Braun demonstrated no legitimate need for his attorney to attend the psychiatric examination so as to monitor it from a separate room. Toyota produced evidence that such monitoring might compromise the integrity of the examination.” See also San Francisco Unified School Dist. v. WCAB, 190 Cal. App. 4th 1 (2010) (employee whose psychiatric injury was not “substantially caused” (35-to-40 percent) by good-faith personnel actions was entitled to workers’ compensation benefits).