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November 2012

Gordon & Rees Los Angeles Team Wins Summary Judgment in Employment Action

On Oct. 29, Debra Ellwood Meppen, Robert Feinstein, and Alexis Amber of Gordon & Rees's Los Angeles Office obtained summary judgment in favor of their client in a single plaintiff employment action. The plaintiff sued our client, a security company, for retaliation and failure to prevent retaliation, while also pursuing punitive damages against his employer.  
The plaintiff alleged that his employment had been terminated in retaliation for reporting sexual harassment by a co-worker. He claimed that, while using the restroom at his posted location, someone, who he believed to be a co-worker, entered the bathroom, approached his stall and peered at him through the stall door. The security company maintained that it had received no complaint from the plaintiff and had no knowledge of this incident. Two months later, the security company terminated the plaintiff's employment for engaging in repeated serious violations of the company's policies, which had resulted in multiple disciplinary warnings during his five months of employment.
Gordon & Rees filed a motion for summary judgment or, in the alternative, summary adjudication as to each cause of action, as well as the plaintiff's claim for punitive damages. This motion was based substantially on the plaintiff's own deposition testimony, as well as his personnel file and company policies and procedures.
Judge Michael P. Linfield of the Los Angeles Superior Court agreed that the plaintiff had not and could not establish a triable issue of material fact as to any of his claims. Accordingly, summary judgment was granted in favor of our client, ending this litigation well before the January 14, 2013 trial date.

Robert W. Feinstein
Debra Ellwood Meppen