Snyder Law Secures Defense Verdict in $2.8 Million FEHA, Whistleblower Retaliation, and Defamation Case

Lead attorney Jessica Farley and her partner, Barry Snyder, secured a defense verdict from a San Bernardino County jury on April 30, 2018, following 3 weeks of trial and 10 days of evidence. Plaintiff, a Caucasian woman, claimed she was terminated from C.R. England because she complained to HR that she was underpaid and that her Hispanic supervisor favored Hispanic employees when it came to hiring, scheduling, speaking Spanish in the office, and celebrating staff birthdays.

To prove her case, plaintiff relied largely on a parade of former employees–all of them Caucasian and female–to disparage plaintiff’s Hispanic supervisor. C.R. England refuted each of these witnesses by calling former, current, Caucasian, Hispanic, Filipino, African-American, male and female employees to show that plaintiff’s complaints were unsubstantiated.

The defense presented undisputed evidence that plaintiff was terminated because she came to work without a required doctor’s note after telling her supervisor that she had a “highly contagious” disease. In doing so, she violated company policy and a direct order by her supervisor. At trial, plaintiff admitted that she never had this highly contagious disease. Although she never told her supervisor the truth, plaintiff contended that the company should have investigated whether she was actually ill before terminating her.

Claiming that C.R. England defamed her during the termination and intentionally inflicted emotional distress, plaintiff asked the jury for $2.3 million in non-economic damages and roughly $500,000 in economic damages. Had the jury found that C.R. England acted maliciously, punitive damages were also on the table. After a little over a day of deliberation, the jury returned a defense verdict and plaintiff received nothing.

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