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March 2013

Gordon & Rees San Diego Team Wins Defense Verdict in Wrongful-Termination Suit

On March 11, Gordon & Rees partner Christopher Cato and senior counsel Brad Moores of San Diego won a defense verdict after a two-week jury trial in a wrongful-termination suit.

Gordon & Rees’s client, Domries Enterprises, Inc., a manufacturer of farm equipment in California’s agricultural center of Madera, terminated an upper management employee, Gurminder Dhillon, after 12 years of employment. The company had concerns about Dhillon's possible theft of trade secrets and sabotage of equipment as well as concerns that Dhillon was planning to go into business for himself in direct competition with Domries.

Dhillon alleged wrongful termination in retaliation for complaining about safety issues regarding work machinery, improper air and water pollution practices, and alleged discriminatory employment practices.

Mr. Cato established that Dhillon had perjured himself repeatedly in prior sworn testimony and was not a credible witness. Additionally, Mr. Cato established that, to the extent Dhillon expressed any concerns about company practices, he did so as part of his job duties and they were unrelated to the grounds for his termination.

Although Dhillon sought more than $500,000 in lost income and emotional distress damages, the Madera County Superior Court jury deliberated for only three-and-a-half hours before returning a defense verdict in favor of Gordon & Rees’s client.

Christopher B. Cato