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Defense Verdict – Employment Retaliation Trial

September 15, 2015

Tom Hurrell and Mariam Kaloustian defended a school district and school administrators in a lawsuit brought by a disgruntled teacher who was not grading or teaching according to the school district’s guidelines. Plaintiff alleged a number of causes of action, including various Fair Employment and Housing violations, Labor Code violations, and tort claims. Following summary adjudication of the majority of plaintiff’s claims, the matter proceeded to a jury trial on plaintiff’s remaining claims of retaliation for complaints of racial discrimination and intentional infliction of emotional distress. 

At trial, plaintiff claimed she was discriminated and retaliated against for complaining about racial discrimination, causing her constructive discharge. In her defense, plaintiff presented expert testimony from the NAACP. Defendants set forth evidence through the course of the nine day trial that established that plaintiff was simply requested to comply with the district’s teaching and grading guidelines. In addition, defendants explained that their actions were not at any point racially motivated. After one day of deliberation, the jury returned a defense verdict. The trial court thereafter granted costs to the defendants as the prevailing party.