California Employment Law Update

Category Archives: Jury verdicts

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California Jury Awards Employees $7.6 Million in Latest Gargantuan Wrongful Termination Verdict

A Los Angeles jury has ordered an apartment building owner and property management company to pay $7.6 million to two former live-in apartment managers who claimed to have been wrongfully terminated and discriminated against based upon a medical condition and disability (thyroid cancer). Albert Garcia and his wife Stephanie Garcia sued Gresham Apartments Investors, owners … Continue Reading

July 2021 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted July 2021 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Board of Directors Quota Law May Be Unconstitutional 2:1 Ratio of Punitive to Compensatory Damages Was Appropriate High School Football Coach’s Title VII Claim Was … Continue Reading

Police Sergeant Who Accessed Computer Database in Exchange for Money Did Not Violate CFAA

Van Buren v. United States, 593 U.S. ___, 141 S. Ct. 1648 (2021) Nathan Van Buren, a former police sergeant, ran a license-plate search in a law enforcement computer database in exchange for money.  Among other things, Van Buren was charged with violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) for “exceed[ing] authorized access” to … Continue Reading

November 2020 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted November 2020 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Court Affirms $4.26 Million Jury Award For “Self-Published Defamation” Court Affirms Dismissal Of Trade Secrets Claim Brought Against Apple Employer Gets No Relief From $1.6 … Continue Reading

Court Affirms $4.26 Million Jury Award For “Self-Published Defamation”

Tilkey v. Allstate Ins. Co., 2020 WL 6268474 (Cal. Ct. App. 2020) Allstate terminated Michael Tilkey, a 30-year employee who sold life insurance, after Tilkey’s arrest in Arizona following a domestic dispute with his girlfriend; he was arrested for “criminal damage deface, possession or use of drug paraphernalia and disorderly conduct, disruptive behavior.”  Domestic violence … Continue Reading

Safety Concerns Regarding COVID-19 Infection Could Lead to More Plaintiff-Friendly Juries

Employers may face juries that seek to hold them responsible if an employee contracts COVID-19, the trial consulting firm Dispute Dynamics suggests in its latest study. Dispute Dynamics surveyed 321 individuals, inquiring about their most up-to-date attitudes in the context of being called as a potential juror during/following the pandemic. 46% of the participants indicated … Continue Reading

Los Angeles Employers May Face Even More Juror Hostility After Pandemic

As if there weren’t enough to worry about, Los Angeles employers may face an even tougher challenge to prevail at trial in the aftermath of the Coronavirus pandemic, the trial consulting firm Dispute Dynamics suggests in its latest study. On May 4th, Dispute Dynamics surveyed Los Angeles County residents and people nationwide, inquiring about their … Continue Reading

$13M UCLA Case Exposes Calif. Employment Litigation Flaws

In Pinter-Brown v. Regents of the University of California,[1] the California Court of Appeal’s Second Appellate District recently reversed a blockbuster $13 million judgment that was entered against UCLA in favor of one of its former professors of medicine, Dr. Lauren Pinter-Brown. Pinter-Brown went to trial against University of California, Los Angeles, on claims of … Continue Reading

How Will COVID-19 Affect Future Jury Trials?

When courts begin to ramp-up operations and start to impanel juries again for the thousands of backlogged civil and criminal trials, the composition of the jury pool may look different, suggests Dispute Dynamics. Dan Gallipeau and Jill Huntley Taylor at Dispute Dynamics conducted a 300-participant nationwide study last week to determine what, if any, effect … Continue Reading

Los Angeles Jury Awards $15.4 Million To Former LA Times Columnist

  Employers all over California are once again hearing the siren call of arbitration in the wake of a $15.4 million single-plaintiff verdict that a Los Angeles jury delivered to a former Los Angeles Times sports columnist on Monday.  T.J. Simers sued the paper for age and disability discrimination.  Simers quit his job in 2013 … Continue Reading

California Jury Awards $15.4 Million to Former Jack in the Box Employee

In a decision unsurprising to anyone familiar with what California juries have been up to lately (see our reporting here), fast-food titan Jack in the Box was ordered to pay $15.4 million (including a staggering $10 million in punitive damages) last week in a lawsuit involving age and disability discrimination claims, as well as alleged … Continue Reading

California Jury Awards $11 Million In Latest Blockbuster Sexual Harassment Verdict

For the second time this calendar year, a Los Angeles jury ordered an employer to pay $11 million to an employee who claimed to have been sexually harassed. And, once again, the amount of punitive damages ($8 million) dwarfed the amount of compensatory damages ($3.1 million) by a margin of more than two-to-one. On Friday, … Continue Reading

California Jury Rejects Employee’s Discrimination Claims Against Chipotle

Proving it still is possible to obtain a favorable jury verdict in California (see contrary evidence), a federal jury sided with Chipotle Mexican Grill last Wednesday in a case involving disability discrimination claims by former assistant store manager, Lucia Cortez. Cortez alleged she suffered a miscarriage at work after years of trying to get pregnant, … Continue Reading

A California Jury Strikes Again – Hands Out $11 Million Verdict

A Los Angeles jury awarded more than $11 million to two former employees who claimed they were sexually harassed and retaliated against for complaining about the harassment. Megan Meadowcroft and Amber Brown, who worked at the Keyways Vineyard and Winery in Temecula, California, alleged they had been harassed by the general manager, Carlos Pineiro. Meadowcroft … Continue Reading

Another Gargantuan California Verdict… This Time for $18.6 Million

A San Diego jury awarded that amount to a former employee who claimed he was wrongfully terminated based on his arrest record and then defamed. Michael Tilkey worked for Allstate Insurance for 30 years and was fired from his job as a field sales leader after he admitted to Allstate that he was arrested for domestic violence … Continue Reading

Another Day, Another $31 Million Employee Verdict From a Los Angeles Jury

On Tuesday, a Los Angeles jury did what L.A. juries do so often these days — they awarded tens of millions of dollars to an ex-employee who claimed she had been the victim of discrimination, wrongful termination and retaliation.  Codie Rael, who worked as a materials buyer for a dental supply company, claimed that she … Continue Reading

Los Angeles Jury Awards $17.4 Million to Sanitation Bureau Employee

Continuing an alarming recent pattern of multi-million dollar jury awards (see our earlier post), a Los Angeles jury panel recently awarded $17.4 million to a former employee of the Bureau of Sanitation.  The employee claimed he had been retaliated against because he had taken part in “protected activities” and because he had filed a complaint … Continue Reading
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