Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani Southern California Partner Geoffrey Lee prevailed on all issues following a four-day Orange County bench trial. The firm represented an employer who engaged in layoffs at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The plaintiff, a laid off employee, sued for wrongful termination based on his being homosexual. He argued that he was fraudulently induced into accepting a severance offer that included a release of legal claims. He further argued that the severance agreement was unenforceable, as it was written under Florida law. In fact, a signed copy of the severance agreement could not be found by either side.
After hearing three days of conflicting testimony, mostly from former employees, the court found that the former employees were not credible. The firm proved through circumstantial evidence that the agreement was, in fact, signed by both parties and that there was only one version of it. The firm defeated all arguments against the legality of the contract, which the court ruled acts as a shield against all of the plaintiff’s employment claims.