Favorable Trial Court Results:
Published National Labor Relations Board decision
On December 31, 2012 Senior Partner John Golper, Senior Counsel Katherine Hren and Associate Craig Hoetger received a favorable decision dismissing all complaint allegations brought by the SEIU United Service Workers Union alleging numerous unfair labor practices against Windsor Reading Care Center. The case involved a consolidated complaint of four separate cases and was tried in Redding California on August 21 – 24 2012. Administrative law Judge Greg Meyerson ruled that the employer did not violate Sections 8 (a)(1) and (3) of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) when it terminated two union activists for separate acts of misconduct involving patient abuse and failure to report abuse , respectively, and did not violate the NLRA Sections 8(a)(1) and(5) by allegedly failing to engage in pre-or post-discipline bargaining. The ALJ further found that Windsor Redding did not violate NLRA Sections 8 (a)(1) and (5) by allegedly discontinuing granting of pay increases on employee anniversary dates. The published decision is Windsor Redding Care Center 2012 NLRB LEXIS 875 (2012).
Published Labor Arbitration Award
On August 31, 2007, Partner Matt Wakefield received a favorable arbitration award on behalf of La Costa Resort and Spa. The resort began requiring restaurant servers to close their own guest checks rather than rely upon the room service order taker/cashier. The union representing the employees grieved the change in duties, alleging that the resort violated the collective bargaining agreement by combining the classifications of server and cashier without paying the higher cashier wage rate. The resort argued that it had not combined jobs and that having the servers close their own guest checks saved time for the servers and improved the efficiency of the restaurant operations. The arbitrator agreed with the resort and denied the grievance. The arbitrator determined that the collective bargaining agreement did not bind the resort to the status quo, but permitted the resort to “expand or alter the duties of a classification.” The published award is La Costa Resort and Spa, 124 LA 964, 08-1 ARB ¶4170 (Wormuth, 2007).
Private Labor Arbitration Award
On January 5, 2010, Partner Matt Wakefield and Senior Counsel Katherine Hren received a favorable arbitration award on behalf of a boutique hotel in Beverly Hills. The hotel discharged a 30-year housekeeping employee after she refused to perform her job duties for approximately two hours. The union representing the employee grieved the discharge, arguing that the employee was functioning as a shop steward during the time in question. The hotel argued that four months earlier the employee had been disciplined for similar misconduct. On the day in question, the employee was initially given the opportunity to return to work without consequences. When she continued to refuse, the hotel had no choice but to discharge her employment. Given these circumstances, the arbitrator agreed with the hotel and found that the employee “was guilty of gross insubordination for refusing to obey repeated directives to return to work.”
Private Labor Arbitration Award
On April 21, 2010, Partner Matt Wakefield received a favorable arbitration award on behalf of a limited service hotel in Detroit, Michigan. The hotel discharged an engineer for making threats and directing vulgar remarks toward his manager and another employee. The union representing the engineer grieved the discharge, arguing that he was engaged in protected activity as a shop steward, his profane language was merely “shop talk,” and his conduct did not warrant discharge. The arbitrator denied the grievance, finding that the hotel proved the employee engaged in “serious acts of misconduct” which constituted just cause for discharge.
Private Labor Arbitration Award
On June 22, 2010, Founding Partner Ken Ballard and Partner Matt Wakefield received a favorable arbitration award on behalf of a Chicago, Illinois hotel. The hotel leased part of the ground floor to a third party to operate a small non-union coffee shop. The union representing the hotel’s employees grieved the hotel’s actions and sought to have the coffee shop employees become subject to the collective bargaining agreement between the hotel and the union. The union argued that the hotel violated the parties’ agreement because the coffee shop was not physically separate from and independent of the hotel. A doorway had been built between the hotel lobby and the coffee shop, signs placed in the lobby, and the coffee shop was featured on the hotel’s website. The union also argued that the coffee shop violated the agreement by providing table service. The hotel argued that no violation occurred given that the doorway in question is required by the Americans with Disabilities Act and the signage and website references benefitted the hotel and the bargaining unit employees as much as the coffee shop. The hotel also argued that the union introduced no credible evidence of table service being offered in the coffee shop. The arbitrator sustained the union’s position on only two minor issues. He directed the hotel to limit its references to the coffee shop on its website and to remove the coffee shop’s signs in the hotel lobby. Significantly, the arbitrator denied the union’s request to apply the collective bargaining agreement to the coffee shop’s employees, rejected the union’s claim that table service was being offered, and agreed with the hotel that the doorway between the lobby and the coffee shop was not a violation of the parties’ agreement.
Published Labor Arbitration Award
On September 7, 2010, Partner Matt Wakefield received a favorable arbitration award on behalf of the Hotel del Coronado. The hotel discharged a restaurant hostess for failing a post-accident alcohol test. The union representing the employee argued that just cause for discharge did not exist because the employee thought she was off duty, and could therefore consume alcohol, before reporting to a medical clinic to be seen for her workplace injury. The hotel argued that the employee tested positive during work time because she was sent to the medical clinic shortly after her shift commenced and she was paid for her entire shift. The arbitrator agreed with the hotel and upheld the discharge because the employee “was on paid time when she gave the specimen that ultimately tested positive.” The published award is Hotel del Coronado, 10-2 ARB ¶5125 (Bordone, 2010).
Private Labor Arbitration Award
On January 24, 2011, Partner Matt Wakefield received a favorable arbitration award on behalf of a major hotel in Southern California. The hotel had terminated a telephone operator for refusing to take a drug/alcohol test. The union representing the telephone operator grieved the discharge, arguing that the hotel did not have reasonable cause to require the employee to submit to a drug/alcohol test. The employer argued that it had the right to test the employee after he had twice fallen asleep on the job and smelled of alcohol. While the union disputed the employee’s condition, the employer pointed out that the employee had the opportunity to exonerate himself, without any loss of income, by simply taking the drug/alcohol test. The arbitrator agreed with the employer and denied the grievance. The arbitrator explained that if the employee was as innocent as he claimed, he should have chosen “to follow the conventional principle of ‘obeying now and grieving later.’”
Private Labor Arbitration Award
On July 22, 2011, Partner Matt Wakefield received a favorable arbitration award on behalf of a luxury hotel in Boston, Massachusetts. The union grieved the number of chefs in the hotel’s restaurant and banquet kitchens, arguing that the hotel exceeded the collectively bargained limitation of three non-union working chefs or supervisors. While the hotel has an executive chef, an executive sous chef, a banquet sous chef, a restaurant chef, and two restaurant sous chefs, only three of the chefs regularly performed bargaining unit work. The arbitrator agreed that the hotel did not exceed the limitation on working chefs or supervisors and denied the grievance. He found that it was not a violation of the collective bargaining agreement for two of the non-working chefs to assist bargaining unit cooks “for brief periods of time to satisfy guests’ needs.”
Private Labor Arbitration Award
On July 13, 2012, Partner Matt Wakefield received a favorable arbitration award on behalf of a large hotel in the San Diego area. The hotel had discharged a cook for failing a post-accident drug test. The union representing the employee argued that just cause for discharge did not exist because the hotel did not have the right to require a post-accident drug test in this case. The employee had not reported her injury until four months after the accident. The hotel argued that an employee should not be able to avoid a drug/alcohol test by delaying the reporting of an injury. Moreover, given that the employee failed the drug test which was administered during her regular shift, just cause existed for discharge. The arbitrator agreed with the hotel and denied the grievance. He found that the employee’s increase in pain four months later, which motivated her to request medical care, met the definition of an “accident” for purposes of post-accident testing under the collective bargaining agreement. Moreover, the arbitrator concluded the employee’s positive drug test result was just cause for discharge, regardless of when the employee may have ingested the drugs, given that the test was administered during the employee’s shift.
Private Labor Arbitration Award
On August 17, 2012, Partner Matt Wakefield received a favorable arbitration award on behalf of a luxury resort in Southern California. The resort outsourced the function of providing golf lessons to a third party. The union representing an affected employee grieved the resort’s decision, arguing that the outsourcing violating the collective bargaining agreement. The resort argued that golf lessons had been removed from the bargaining unit 10 years earlier. The resort also argued that even if golf lessons could still be considered bargaining unit work, the resort retained the right to outsource. The arbitrator agreed with the resort and denied the grievance. In viewing the resort’s actions in a light most favorable to the union, the arbitrator determined that the resort acted reasonably because only one employee was affected and “business considerations other than the cost of labor” drove the resort’s decision.
Private Labor Arbitration Award
On November 5, 2012, Partner Matt Wakefield received a favorable arbitration award on behalf of an upscale hotel in Detroit, Michigan. The hotel discharged an engineer for failing to properly perform his job following a series of progressive disciplinary actions. The union representing the engineer grieved the discharge, asserting that it was without just cause. In preparing for the arbitration, the hotel discovered numerous overlaps between the employee’s time records at the hotel and those of his second job. The employer argued that this “after-acquired” evidence was an independent basis for upholding the employee’s discharge from the hotel. The arbitrator agreed with the employer and denied the grievance. While he found that the employer had not established just cause to discharge the employee for failing to properly perform his job, the after-acquired evidence of overlapping time entries, including the employee working at his second job while on sick leave from the hotel, precluded the employee from being reinstated.
Grace Hechanova v. Gateways Hospital & Mental Health Center
On December 10, 2012, Linda Miller Savitt and Gordon N. Kojima received a defense verdict in Grace Hechanova v. Gateways Hospital & Mental Health Center. Plaintiff Hechanova alleged wrongful termination in violation of public policy, unlawful retaliation and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Although Hechanova was hired by Gateways Hospital as a Case Aide, she transferred to a position of Licensed Vocational Nurse where she oversaw the Medication Room. Hechanova was terminated during her introductory period after only nine weeks for her poor performance, failure to follow directions, acts of insubordination and a general hostility towards her Supervisor. She claimed that her termination was in retaliation for complaining about sexual harassment on behalf of Alvin Pierce, Jr., a Residential Manager who was Hechanovas best friend and former business partner. Gateways Hospital denied all allegations and presented evidence at trial to demonstrate that many of the facts asserted by Grace Hechanova and Alvin Pierce were fabricated. Hechanova sought lost wages for a period of three years, emotional distress damages of $500,000, unspecified punitive damages and attorneys fees. After a 10-day trial, the jury deliberated one hour before returning a verdict in favor of Gateways Hospital & Mental Health Center.
Richard Robinson v. County of Los Angeles
On December 6, 2011, Linda Miller Savitt and John J. Manier obtained a defense verdict in Richard Robinson v. County of Los Angeles, et al., a First Amendment retaliation case brought under the federal civil rights statute, 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff was a sergeant in the Countys Office of Public Safety. He applied for promotion to lieutenant, but was one of multiple sergeants who were not selected. Plaintiff claimed that he was denied promotion in retaliation for various reports of alleged misconduct and corruption by Department officers. Defendants denied that Plaintiffs reports played any role in the promotion decisions and that the successful candidates were selected based on their qualifications for the positions that were open. BRG&S substituted in as defense counsel after a Ninth Circuit decision which affirmed the denial of summary judgment for three Individual Defendants based on qualified immunity. (Robinson v. York (9th Cir. 2009) 566 F.3d 817.) The case was tried in federal court before United States District Judge Gary A. Feess. After a four-day trial, the jury unanimously found that Plaintiff failed to prove he was acting as a private citizen when he made his reports, which meant that the reports were not protected by the First Amendment. Plaintiffs pre-trial settlement demand was $575,000.
Nichole Hoffman v. 10520 Wilshire Owners Association
On October 27, 2011, Linda Miller Savitt, Elsa Banuelos, and Vicky H. Lin received a defense verdict in Nichole Hoffman v. 10520 Wilshire Owners Association. Plaintiff Hoffman alleged discrimination, retaliation, wrongful termination, failure to pay wages, invasion of privacy, breach of contract, harassment, defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Plaintiff was hired by 10520 Wilshire Owners Association, a homeowners association, as General Manager for a high-rise condominium building. Plaintiff oversaw a staff and was answerable to the Associations Board of Directors. Plaintiff was terminated after four years for her exceedingly poor performance and acts of insubordination, including permitting an open house over the express instructions of two Board members, refusing to provide required daily reports, and falsifying an employees time clock. Plaintiff claimed that her termination was due to her sex and race and in retaliation for complaining about sex and race harassment. She also alleged that the Association was in breach of an oral contract to terminate her for cause, failed to pay her all wages at the time of her termination, subjected her to sex harassment, invaded her privacy, and forced her to defame herself. The Association denied all allegations. During mediation, Plaintiff demanded $2 million. The Association offered $5,000. During trial, Plaintiffs demand dropped to $675,000 and then $375,000.
Michael Acevedo v. Biosense Webster, Inc.
On June 3, 2011, Linda Miller Savitt and Linda B. Hurevitz received a defense verdict in Michael Acevedo v. Biosense Webster, Inc., a national origin discrimination case. Plaintiff, the Vice President of U.S. Sales at Biosense Webster, Inc., a member of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies, claimed that there was a pro-Israeli bias at the company. After the company received FDA approval of its latest 3D mapping technology for the diagnosis and treatment of Atrial Fibrillation, the decision was made to combine its Sales and Services divisions. The Vice President of Services was selected over Plaintiff for the new position of Vice President of Sales and Services. Both the President of the company and the Vice President of Services are of Israeli national origin. Plaintiff had demanded $1.9 million just prior to trial.
Anna Cheh, M.D. v. Western Medical Center
On February 16, 2011, Linda Miller Savitt and Linda B. Hurevitz received a defense verdict in Anna Cheh, M.D. v. Western Medical Center - Santa Ana. The plaintiff, a Board-certified Emergency Medicine physician claimed she had been subjected to sexual harassment by other physicians who provided on-call consults in the Emergency Department at Western Medical Center - Santa Ana and that the hospital failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the harassment. Dr. Cheh claimed that she felt forced to resign because of the hostile work environment. After an 11 day trial, the jury returned a defense verdict in 2 1/2 hours.
Palazzolo v. Childrens Hospital Los Angeles
In December 2010, Partner Linda Miller Savitt and Senior Counsel Christine Hoeffner completed their successful defense of a client against a wage/hour class action claim, avoiding potentially millions of dollars in discovery and liability exposure without the expense of a trial. Onerous class discovery was stopped by obtaining an appellate court order staying class discovery pending a determination of the plaintiffs standing to be a class representative. Plaintiffs motion for leave to amend to name a new plaintiff/class representative was defeated, and summary judgment against the plaintiff on all 10 class claims was granted. The Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment.
Dr. Torria Bond v. Azusa Pacific University
On July 9, 2010, after a ten day trial, Linda Miller Savitt and Linda B. Hurevitz received a defense verdict after only 2 1/2 hours of jury deliberations. Dr. Torria Bond was an Associate Professor in the School of Education, Department of Teacher Education at Azusa Pacific University. Teacher Education is a graduate program and all of the classes are at night. In past years Dr. Bond had substituted administrative duties for some of the teaching she would have otherwise done in order to have her evenings free to be with her family. When she felt that the administrative duties were requiring too many hours of her time she informed the Chairman of the department that she would prefer to teach more classes. As with the other full-time faculty members, she was assigned classes on two campuses. She did not want to drive to the High Desert campus in Victorville which was the closest campus to her base campus, San Bernardino, and therefore refused to sign off on her work load. She tried to get out of the drive by presenting a doctors note indicating that if she did not feel safe driving at night that she should not. The University determined that this was neither a work restriction nor a disability which required any accommodation. Dr. Bond also claimed that she was treated differently because of her race, African-American. The Chairman of her department was African and the Dean of the school was African-American.
Mendoza v. ABM Industries, Inc. and ABM Janitorial Services
On April 27, 2010, Linda Miller Savitt and Linda B. Hurevitz received a defense verdict in Maria Mendoza v. ABM Industries, Inc., and ABM Janitorial Services. The plaintiff, the former Regional Director of Human Resources for ABM Janitorial Services - Southwest Region, a subsidiary of ABM Industries, Inc. claimed that she had been wrongfully terminated after reporting payroll irregularities and violations of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act to the U.S. Department of Labor. In addition, she claimed she had been subjected to a hostile work environment and retaliation because she was aware of sexual harassment in the workplace and believed that her employer failed to appropriately address her concerns. Finally, plaintiff claimed that she had been misclassified as an exempt employee and should have been entitled to overtime compensation.
After twenty days of trial, the jury returned a defense verdict in three hours.
Hopwood v. Los Angeles Unified School District
In April, 2010, Partner Linda Miller Savitt, Senior Counsel Elsa Bañuelos, and Associate Vicky Lin obtained summary judgment in Hopwood v. Los Angeles Unified School District (Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. BC400240). The plaintiff claimed he was discriminated against based on his race, sex, and disability and that he was retaliated against for complaining of discrimination. He also claimed that LAUSD failed to accommodate his disability or engage in the interactive process. The court dismissed plaintiffs entire case, finding that he was not subject to discrimination or retaliation because the adverse employment actions were taken for legitimate, non-retaliatory and non-discriminatory reasons. The court also found LAUSD had engaged in the interactive process and accommodated plaintiffs disability.
Salas v. Anheuser-Busch, Inc.
In February 2010, Partner John B. Golper and Senior Counsel Elsa Bañuelos and John J. Manier won another motion to compel arbitration on behalf of Anheuser-Busch, Inc. The court in Salas v. Anheuser-Busch, Inc. (United States District Court, Central District, Case No. CV 09-7739 GHK (AJWx)) ruled that the collective bargaining agreement between the Company and the plaintiffs Union clearly and unmistakably required arbitration of the plaintiffs claims, including those for disability discrimination and failure to accommodate. This marked the second time in seven months that the Firm has won a motion on behalf of Anheuser-Busch compelling arbitration of statutory employment discrimination claims under two separate union contracts. Only a handful of other cases nationwide have reached the same result since April 2009, when the United States Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in 14 Penn Plaza LLC v. Pyett allowing arbitration of job bias claims under collective bargaining agreements.
Underwood v. Health Net
In January 2010, Partners Linda Miller Savitt and Eric Schwettmann obtained summary judgment in Underwood v. Health Net, et. al. (Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. BC 397752). The African-American plaintiff claimed he was discriminated against, retaliated against, and harassed by his Caucasian supervisor on the basis of race and gender. He also claimed that Health Net failed to investigate his complaints and failed to prevent the alleged conduct from occurring. He finally claimed that Health Net breached an implied contract that his employment would only be terminated with good cause. The court found that the plaintiff was not harassed under any theory and that his undisputed insubordination (refusal to work at his office three days a week) constituted non-discriminatory, non-retaliatory good cause for the termination of his employment.
Cheathem v. Los Angeles Unified School District
In January 2010, Partner Linda Miller Savitt, Senior Counsel Elsa Bañuelos, and Associate Vicky Lin obtained summary judgment in Cheathem v. Los Angeles Unified School District (Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. BC398268). The plaintiff claimed she was discriminated against based on race, age, and sex and subjected to a retaliatory termination for complaining about the discrimination. The plaintiff also claimed that Los Angeles Unified School District publicly disclosed private facts about her. The court dismissed plaintiffs entire case, finding that the undisputed material facts established that she was not subject to discrimination and was terminated for legitimate, non-retaliatory reasons. The court also found that the undisputed material facts did not establish any public disclosure of private facts.
Rava v. Anheuser-Busch, Inc., Bacardi USA, Inc., and Bear Valley Ski Co.
In July 2009, Partners John B. Golper and Eric C. Schwettmann and Senior Counsel John J. Manier, representing Anheuser-Busch, Inc. and Bacardi USA, Inc., defeated a motion for class certification in Rava v. Anheuser-Busch, Inc., et al. The plaintiff, a licensed attorney, sued under Californias Unruh Civil Rights Act based on a ski resorts Ladies Day event in 2003, at which adult women received free ski lift tickets but adult men did not. He sought to certify a class consisting of an estimated 995 men who paid for lift tickets on Ladies Day. Anheuser-Busch and Bacardi were sued for allegedly aiding or inciting the Unruh Act violation because they sponsored a Ladies Day concert at the ski resort, although they had nothing to do with the resorts giveaway of free lift tickets to women. Because there is a minimum penalty of $4,000 for each violation of the Unruh Act, class certification could have resulted in aggregate liability of $4 million or more. However, the court found a class action would not be superior to alternative means of resolving the dispute, such as individual small claims lawsuits.
Bujko v. Los Angeles Unified School District, etc.
In April 2009, Partners John Golper and Eric Schwettmann received a defense verdict in Bujko v. Los Angeles Unified School District, etc. (Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. EC 044 839). The plaintiff claimed he was subjected to whistleblower retaliation under the California Reporting of Improper Governmental Activities Act (California Education Code § 44110 et. seq) after he reported that a female school Vice Principal walked through the boys locker room while the football team was allegedly getting dressed. After an 11 day trial, the jury deliberated for three days and found that the plaintiffs report was not made honestly and in good faith and therefore was not a protected disclosure under the law. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the Los Angeles Unified School District, the school Principal, and the school Vice Principal.
Blackwell v. Anheuser-Busch, Inc.
In December 2008, Partner John B. Golper and Senior Counsel John J. Manier won a motion to compel arbitration on behalf of Anheuser-Busch, Inc. in Blackwell v. Anheuser-Busch, Inc. The plaintiff claimed he was denied reasonable accommodation and terminated because of his disability and age. The Los Angeles County Superior Court found that the plaintiff must arbitrate all of his claims under Anheuser-Buschs Dispute Resolution Program (DRP). It rejected the plaintiffs claim that he never read a copy of the DRP and that he might not have received a copy because his ex-wife allegedly hid mail from him. The court stayed the plaintiffs lawsuit pending the completion of arbitration proceedings.
Pizarro v. Anheuser-Busch, Inc., Bacardi U.S.A., Inc., etc.
In December 2008, Partners John Golper and Eric Schwettmann and Senior Counsel John Manier obtained summary judgment in Pizarro v. Anheuser-Busch, Inc., Bacardi U.S.A., Inc., etc. (Los Angeles Superior Court case no. JCCP 4505). The plaintiff claimed that she was subjected to age discrimination under the California Unruh Act on Customer Appreciation Day at Bear Valley Mountain Ski Resort when she was forced to purchase a ski lift ticket and adults over the age of 21 were not. Anheuser-Busch, Inc. and Bacardi U.S.A., Inc. were alleged to have aided or incited this promotion. The court found that the undisputed material facts established that the promotion was based on legitimate, non-discriminatory factors and therefore was not a violation of law.
Saenz v. Backbone Communications, Inc.
In September 2008 Linda Miller Savitt received a defense verdict in Saenz v. Backbone Communications, Inc. The plaintiff claimed she had been terminated as a result of using the kin care statute, Labor Code § 203, which provides that an employee may use one-half of their sick time for family related incidents. After a 4 day trial the jury deliberated for 3 hours and returned a verdict in favor of the defendant that Backbone Communications had not wrongfully terminated the plaintiff.
Sanders v. Sempra Energy
Partner Linda Miller Savitt received a defense arbitration award in September 2008 in the case Lowell Sanders v. Sempra Energy Corporation. Mr. Sanders had been terminated in 2005 and claimed he had been a whistleblower on safety issues. The court found that he was not terminated in retaliation for whistleblowing and that there had been no safety violations committed by Sempra.
Vellon v. DWP verdict
"On July 29, 2008 , Partner Linda Miller Savitt and Associate Philip Reznik obtained a defense verdict in Duamel Vellon vs. City of Los Angeles, Department of Water and Power (Los Angeles Superior Court case no. BC 343494). The case involved a former high-level manager who claimed that he had been terminated based on his race and nationality and in retaliation for making complaints about discrimination. After 13 days of trial and five hours of deliberation, the jury unanimously rejected the plaintiffs race discrimination claims and delivered an 11-1 defense verdict on his retaliation claims. Prior to trial, the Court granted a defense motion for summary adjudication of additional claims for wrongful termination in violation of public policy and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The Court also granted a defense motion to require the plaintiff -- who lives outside of California -- defendants to post a $110,000 bond before pursuing his claims in a California court. The costs will be recovered from these funds."
Krell v. U.C. Regents
On April 24, 2008, Linda Miller Savitt and Linda B. Hurevitz received a defense verdict in Heather Krell v. The Regents of the University of California (UCLA). The plaintiff, a former Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry claimed she had been subjected to sexual harassment by her mentor, a full professor, and that when she complained of the harassment she was retaliated against. She claimed she lost her research assignments and various other titles and was required to work an extraordinary amount of clinical hours seeing patients in order to earn her salary. After a three week trial, the jury deliberated for four hours and retuned a 12-0 verdict on all caused of action in favor of the defendants and against plaintiff.
McAlpin v. Facey Medical Group
In March 2008, partner Linda Miller Savitt and associate Gordon Kojima received a defense award in an arbitration involving Facey Medical Group. The plaintiff, Dr. McAlpin, contended she had been discriminated against on the basis of her race and gender when she was employed at Facey Medical Group as a head and neck surgeon.
Gabriela Kennedy v. Department of Water & Power
On November 30, 2007 partner Linda Miller Savitt received a defense verdict in the case of Gabriela Kennedy v. Department of Water & Power. Following a 4 week trial on a retaliation claim by an existing employee, Gabriela Kennedy, the jury found in favor of the defendant 10-2. This case had been litigated for approximately 4 years and had previously also involved a claim of gender discrimination, which was dismissed by the plaintiff following defendantís filing of a motion for summary adjudication of this claim. Jury deliberations were only 3 hours.
Woods v. Hydraulics International
In October 2007 Linda Miller Savitt successfully defended the case of Woods v. Hydraulics International, which was a pregnancy discrimination claim. Following a 4 day trial, the jury found in favor of the defendant.
In October 2007 the firm received an award of attorneys fees in the amount of $108,000 in favor of its client for having to defend a frivolous harassment claim. The firm represented the Los Angeles County Superior Court and other court personnel.
Marisela Adams v. LAUSD
In May 2007 the firm received a defense verdict on behalf of its client, the Los Angeles Unified School District in the case of Marisela Adams v. LAUSD. The case involved a claim that plaintiff had been retaliated against and discriminated against on the basis of age. Following a 7 day jury trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the School District. Partner Linda Miller Savitt was the trial attorney on that case.
Favorable Appellate Results:
Sasaki-Hayward v. The Regents of the University of California
In February 2010, Partner Linda Miller Savitt and Senior Counsel Christine Hoeffner obtained affirmance by the Court of Appeal of an order granting a summary judgment motion which was drafted by Partner Jonathan Rosenberg. Sasaki-Hayward v. The Regents of the University of California (Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. BC 359240) was complex disability discrimination case arising under Californias Fair Employment and Housing Act. The trial court held, and the Court of Appeal affirmed, that (1) keeping an employee on a medical leave is a reasonable accommodation when the employee was released to return to work with restrictions, (2) the interactive process requires an employee to keep the employer advised of improvements in her medical condition, and (3) the employee could not establish disability discrimination based on discipline for work absences when she did not advise the employer in advance that absences were caused by a disability.
Porche v. Pilot & Associates
In March 2009, Partner Jeffrey P. Fuchsman and Senior Counsel John J. Manier won a victory for Pilot Catastrophe Services, Inc. in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Porche v. Pilot & Associates. The court affirmed the dismissal of the plaintiffs lawsuit based on improper venue. The plaintiffs were a husband and wife who both worked as insurance adjusters for Pilot. Their lawsuit claimed that they were wrongfully denied overtime pay in violation of California and federal law. Although both plaintiffs live in Southern California, all of their work was done out of state. Their employment agreements stated that any claims must be brought in state court in Mobile County, Alabama, which is where Pilot is headquartered. The Court found that venue was not proper in the Central District of California because Pilot has insufficient contacts with the district, and because the plaintiffs claims did not arise from any activities by Pilot in the district.
Daboub v. Bell Gardens Bicycle Club
In October 2008, Partner Jeffrey P. Fuchsman and Senior Counsel John J. Manier won a victory for the Bicycle Club Casino in California Court of Appeal in Daboub v. Bell Gardens Bicycle Club, Inc. The court affirmed an order sustaining the Casinos demurrer to the class action allegations in the plaintiffs complaint, without leave to amend. The court found that the class action claims were barred by the doctrine of collateral estoppel, based on an earlier favorable appellate decision in Lin v. Bell Gardens Bicycle Club, Inc. The plaintiff in Daboub worked as a card dealer at the Bicycle Club Casino in Bell Gardens. She claimed the Casino denied her and other dealers meal and rest periods, and that its tip pool violated various provisions of the Labor Code. The class of dealers the plaintiff sought to represent was the same class that was denied certification in Lin. The court ruled that the plaintiff was barred by the Lin decision from certifying the same class.
Massey v. Los Angeles Unified School District
On March 4, 2008, the court of appeal affirmed summary judgment in favor of the Los Angeles Unified School District in Massey v. Los Angeles Unified School District (B 193196). A teacher sued the school district, claiming the school and a principal breached a settlement agreement by disclosing her below standard evaluation to prospective schools to which she applied for Assistant Principal positions, and asserting she also was defamed. On appeal, she challenged the summary adjudication on her breach of contract claim. The court of appeal found that summary judgment in favor of the school and principal was proper, concluding there was no evidence creating any triable issue of fact suggesting a breach of contract caused her any damages.
Aronsohn v. City of Los Angeles
On January 25, 2008, the court of appeal in Aronsohn v. City of Los Angeles (B190477), affirmed summary judgment for the City of Los Angeles against a City Attorney who claimed she was retaliated against for asserting wrongdoing by another City employee. Plaintiff claimed that the denial of a promotion and merit increase, her reassignment to a different department, and her treatment in the new department were all in retaliation for her complaint about the other City employee. The appellate court found the City had legitimate, non-retaliatory reasons for its personnel decisions regarding plaintiff and she failed to raise triable issues of fact demonstrating pretext.
EEOC v. Robert L. Reeves & Associates
In December 2007, Partner Linda Miller Savitt and Senior Counsel John J. Manier won a victory in the Ninth U.S. Court of Appeals in EEOC v. Robert L. Reeves & Associates. The Court affirmed a unanimous jury verdict in favor of our client, Robert L. Reeves & Associates, an immigration law firm in Pasadena. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had sued the law firm, claiming that five of its employees were sexually harassed and one was discharged because she was pregnant. The jury rejected all six claims after deliberating for only four and one-half hours (an average of 40 minutes per claimant). The Court found that even if some evidentiary errors had been made, they were harmless because the evidence overwhelmingly supported the defense verdict.
Fung v. Childrens Hospital Los Angeles
On September 17, 2007, the court of appeal in Fung v. Childrens Hospital Los Angeles (B192340), affirmed summary judgment for Childrens Hospital against a researcher who claimed he was a hospital employee whose employment contract was breached and who was defrauded because he was not given the ongoing research support he wanted. The court of appeal agreed there was no triable issue of fact suggesting that the hospital had breached any contract or committed any fraud.
About our Firm | Our Services | Attorney Directory | Management Memos | BRG&S Publications | Published Articles | BRG&S In the News | Seminars | Verdicts/Favorable Outcomes | Compliance Matters | Visitor Comments | Home
limited to labor and employment law on behalf of management and related
litigation. Ballard Rosenberg Golper & Savitt, LLP has prepared this site
to enable you to learn more about our firm and the services it provides.
These materials do not, and are not intended to, constitute legal advice.
The information we make available at this site does not create an attorney-client
relationship, nor does it substitute for obtaining legal advice. Nothing herein should be construed as a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter.
©2003 Ballard Rosenberg Golper & Savitt, LLP. No part of this site may be reproduced without permission. For technical support, contact webmaster. Site Design by Kricos Internet Design.