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August 2015

Los Angeles Team Wins Summary Judgment in Sexual Misconduct Case

After two years of hard fought litigation, Gordon & Rees Los Angeles partners, Debra Ellwood Meppen and Robert W. Feinstein, and associate, Rebecca J. R. Marsden, won summary judgment on July 15, 2015, for a well-known professional security services company. In her lawsuit, the plaintiff alleged that she had been defamed and subjected to intentional infliction of emotional distress and sought an extortionate amount in damages.

The plaintiff, a City of Los Angeles engineer, was accused by the City of engaging in sexual misconduct with a co-worker in a conference room at the building at which she worked. The alleged sexual misconduct was witnessed by a janitor and reported to the building’s Director of Security, who was employed by our client. Consequently, he commenced an investigation and advised the City of his findings. The City followed-up with its own investigation, which resulted in disciplinary action being initiated against the plaintiff. In her lawsuit, the plaintiff alleged claims for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress against the security services company and the janitor who observed her, as well as multiple claims against the City and her co-worker.

Before the trial court, the Gordon & Rees team successfully argued that the plaintiff had no evidence showing that, in reporting and investigating her alleged misconduct, the security services company and/or janitor had made unprivileged defamatory statements about her or had engaged in intentional infliction of emotional distress. The Court, therefore, granted their motion for summary judgment.

Robert W. Feinstein
Rebecca J. R. Marsden
Debra Ellwood Meppen



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