Jorgensen v. Loyola Marymount Univ., 68 Cal. App. 5th 882 (2021)

Linda Jorgensen sued Loyola Marymount University for retaliation and age and gender discrimination.  In opposition to LMU’s summary judgment motion, Jorgensen provided a declaration from a former employee (Carolyn Bauer) who swore that Johana Hernandez (the assistant dean) told Bauer that she “wanted someone younger” for another position that was not being sought by Jorgensen.  LMU objected to Bauer’s evidence on the grounds of relevance, conjecture, speculation and hearsay.  In reversing the summary judgment motion, the Court noted that LMU’s objections were “wide of the mark.”  The Court held that a “stray remark” may have relevance in this case because “one might infer that Hernandez could influence [Stephen] Ujlaki, the school’s top decision maker on all issues, including hiring and promotion.”  The Court further held that LMU’s other evidentiary objections should have been overruled, including the hearsay objection on the ground that the state-of-mind exception made admissible Bauer’s report of Hernandez’s remark.  See also Guzman v. NBA Auto., Inc., 68 Cal. App. 5th 1109 (2021) (employee’s administrative complaint sufficiently identified her employer despite erroneous identification of employer).