Wrongful Termination

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

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

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

Hollywood creative director wrongfully terminated for reporting boss's coke use; $450,000 verdict; settlement before punitive phase. Los Angeles County.

Plaintiff is terminated after he complains of his boss's drug use at work. Plaintiff contends that his boss's connections to lucrative clients and involvement in a company merger was major factor in plaintiff's being terminated.

  • Case Name: Andrew MacDonald v. Ascent Media Group, Inc., et al
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Monday, October 22, 2012

UPS supervisor receives $18 million verdict for wrongful termination/retaliation. Los Angeles County.

Plaintiff claimed violations of safety regulations and wage/hour law after working many years for UPS. After a failed attempt at a class-action, plaintiff filed individual suit and encouraged many other managers to do the same. Plaintiff said he was fired after an incident fabricated by defendant. Jury awards substantial punitive damages.

  • Case Name: Michael Marlo v. United Parcel Service, Inc.
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Thursday, August 23, 2012

$1.96 million to inventor of diesel fuel additive for breach of implied employment contract. Los Angeles County.

Inventor says company unfairly cut his profit-sharing in product he developed, marketed and sold.  Company wrongly claimed he was an at-will employee.

  • Case Name: George Sturges, Jr. v. Kern Fuels Research, LLC, et al.
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Wednesday, July 25, 2012

$6 million jury verdict for truck driver whose employer insisted he make deliveries in dangerous weather. Sacramento County.

Employer required hazardous materials truck driver to make deliveries in severe storm, then insisted he return for more after his shift even though he informed employer he had been drinking after work. He was fired for not returning to work.

  • Case Name: Webb v. Ramos Oil Company
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Thursday, July 12, 2012