Employment

Supervisors stage fake armed robbery to test cashiers. $360,000 for emotional distress. Kern County.

Water district supervisors say they wanted to test how cashiers would react in life-threatening situation, so they stage an armed robbery.

  • Case Name: Kathy Lee v. West Kern Water District
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Thursday, July 17, 2014

$723K to supermarket clerk for wrongful termination, discrimination. Punitives. Los Angeles County.

Supermarket clerk is reclassifed as a manager, terminated after an illness. $723,645 verdict includes $500,000 punitives. Demand was only $199,999.

  • Case Name: Eun Joo Ko v. Square Group, LLC dba The Square Supermarket
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Monday, June 16, 2014

Kemper Independence claims manager defamed at work and then terminated. $4.7 million. Sacramento County.

Claims manager, a 28-year employee, protests treatment of his ex-wife, also a Kemper employee.  He is defamed by co-workers and fired.

  • Case Name: Robert M. Sallustio v. Kemper Independence Ins. Co., et al
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Friday, May 09, 2014

Defense verdict in employment action. Shasta County.

  • Case Name: Jane Doe v. Gateway Unified School District
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Monday, April 21, 2014

Long-term female executive claims wrongful termination against Playboy Enterprises. $6 million. U.S. District Court.

Corporate controller claims Playboy asked for accounting entry that violated Sarbanes-Oxley Act; when she refused they retaliated against her and later wrongfully terminated her employment.

  • Case Name: Catherine A. Zulfer v. Playboy Enterprises Inc., and Does 1 through 10, inclusive
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Staples facilities manager, 64, fired after age harassment. $26.1 million verdict. Los Angeles County.

Older, higher paid manager is harassed by supervisors at Staples, but he won't resign and is later terminated.  Jury awards major punitive damages.

  • Case Name: Bobby Dean Nickel v. Staples Contract & Commercial, Inc., and Staples, Inc.
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Whistleblower psychologist is terminated at state mental hospital. $1 million. Napa County.

Psychologist at State Mental Hospital says she was terminated in violation of public policy after she complained about trial competency evaluation procedures.

  • Case Name: Melody Jo Samuelson v. California Department of Mental Health, et. al.
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Thursday, February 20, 2014

Psychiatrist claims ADHD, depression and does not receive accommodations at work. $1.6 million verdict. San Diego County.

Psychiatrist working for state at prison hospital claims she suffers from ADHD and depression, asks for accommodations but says she was refused. 

  • Case Name: Doe Psychiatrist v. California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Thursday, February 13, 2014

Bus driver with health issues repeatedly misses work, is fired. $1.9 million. Los Angeles County.

Bus driver with chronic health conditions is fired for repeated absences, but he claims that he is disabled and L.A. Metro failed to make reasonable accommodations. Offer of $100,000 before trial, but jury says $1.9 million.

  • Case Name: Raphael Vasquez v. Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Monday, November 11, 2013

Farmer's claims adjuster claims age discrimination after termination; $749,000. Fresno County.

Experienced claims adjuster is fired at age 60, says younger adjusters and supervisor discriminated against her. She is fired after going out on medical leave for stress.

  • Case Name: Sharron Warehime v. Farmers Insurance Exchange, et al
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Monday, November 04, 2013

White LA city employee claims racial discrimination against Caucasians. $3.25 million. Los Angeles County.

Los Angeles city gardener, a 63-year-old white man, says Hispanic foreman discriminated against him; that the City regularly discriminated against Caucasian employees in his department.

  • Case Name: James Duffy v. City of Los Angeles
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Sunday, August 11, 2013

Defense verdict in claim of racial discrimination by city librarian. Los Angeles County.

  • Case Name: Nora Cofie v. City of Los Angeles
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Monday, May 20, 2013

Production worker fired for insubordination awarded $482,511. Los Angeles County.

57-year-old production worker is fired when he fails to clean out a storage trailer after being told to do so; he says that he was physically injured off-the-job and unable to perform the task.

  • Case Name: Kivman v. Worldwide Aeros, et al.
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Wednesday, April 24, 2013

$2.5 million to two bank employees for wrongful termination, discrimination. Los Angeles County.

Plaintiff employees experience age and ethnicity discrimination from two higher-ups. When one employee rats out supervisor for falsifying data, retaliation follows in the form of termination.

  • Case Name: Nimet Behar, et al. v. Union Bank, et al.
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Monday, April 08, 2013

$21.8 million award for wrongful termination of customer service rep. Los Angeles County.

Customer service rep takes doctor-approved leave of absence for panic attacks; defendant says she abandoned her job and fires her. $750,000 offered before closing arguments. $21.8 million award.

  • Case Name: April Rodriguez v. Valley Vista Services Inc. and Zerep Management Corp.
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wrongful termination of prison doctor results in $3.3 million verdict. Madera County.

Prison doctor of 15 years is fired and not told why; unanimous verdict on breach of contract against California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Plaintiff surgeon had treated females in two state prisons.

  • Case Name: Muhammad Anwar, M.D. v. State of California, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Wednesday, November 07, 2012