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August 2015

Gordon & Rees Los Angeles Team Obtains Voluntary Dismissal in Employment Retaliation Suit

After 17 months of hard fought litigation, Gordon & Rees Los Angeles partners Debra Ellwood Meppen and Anthony J. Bellone and associate Rebecca J. R. Marsden obtained a voluntary dismissal on behalf of their clients, a well-known contract manufacturer of dietary supplements and its owners.  The plaintiff dismissed the entire action based on the Gordon & Rees team’s refusal to settle his baseless claims and insistence on pursuing their aggressive defense strategy toward trial.

Plaintiff, the former Controller, was terminated after an internal audit revealed that he was engaged in fraudulent conduct. Accordingly, he was terminated for legitimate non-retaliatory and non-discriminatory business reasons.  In response, however, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit asserting 14 causes of action, including claims for breach of contract, fraud, national origin discrimination, harassment and retaliation, wrongful termination and various wage and hour violations.  After filing demurrers to the initial, First Amended and Second Amended Complaints, defendants obtained favorable rulings from the court and successfully knocked out several of the plaintiff’s claims.  Following the demurrers, the Gordon & Rees team proceeded with significant discovery, further revealing the utter lack of merit to plaintiff’s claims.  Although the plaintiff sought to settle the matter, the Gordon & Rees team rejected the plaintiff’s settlement efforts and advised that they intended to proceed with their defense by engaging in further discovery and filing a motion for summary judgment.  

Eventually, the plaintiff, no longer able to endure the pressure, gave up and agreed to voluntarily dismiss the entire action with prejudice in exchange for a waiver of fees and costs. 

Anthony J. Bellone
Rebecca J. R. Marsden
Debra Ellwood Meppen