Favorable Trial Court Results:
Jordan et al. v. City of Los Angeles
On October 18, 2019, Linda Miller Savitt and Philip L. Reznik obtained a defense verdict in Edward Jordan and De’Wana Hubbard v. City of Los Angeles, a retaliation case under the Fair Employment and Housing Act. Plaintiffs were two LAPD detectives who worked as supporting investigators in the Civil Litigation Section (“CLS”), an LAPD unit located within the offices of the City Attorney on the sixth floor of City Hall East (“CHE”). Both are African American. In August 2014, a Caucasian detective tossed a banana peel into Plaintiff Jordan’s cubicle. Both Plaintiffs believed this was a racial taunt. They reported the incident and asked to be removed from any assignment on the sixth floor of CHE.
Plaintiffs retained Matthew McNicholas, an attorney who specializes in prosecuting employment lawsuits against the LAPD who was prosecuting well over a dozen employment lawsuits against the City. McNicholas phoned the Chief Assistant City Attorney in charge of civil litigation, Thomas Peters, to give him a “heads up” that he would be representing a detective working in the City Attorneys’ Office in a civil lawsuit against the City. Peters and the LAPD Captain over the litigation support detective units, Roseira Moreno, agreed that allowing employees litigating against the City to work in the civil litigation offices of the City Attorney would create an unacceptable conflict of interest and risk of disclosure of confidential litigation information. Plaintiffs were reassigned, and remained reassigned, to positions outside the City Attorney’s Offices.
In March 2015, Plaintiffs sued the City claiming racial discrimination, racial harassment and retaliation. Their race discrimination and harassment claims were summarily adjudicated and dismissed, leaving only their retaliation claim for trial. Plaintiffs claimed the positions to which they were reassigned were less desirable, that they were assigned undesirable workspaces, and that they were either given no work assignments or given assignments which were “humiliating” because they were usually performed by lower-ranked officers. After an 11-day trial and two days of deliberation, the jury returned defense verdicts against both Plaintiffs, finding that neither suffered adverse employment action.