Pettit Kohn Team Wins a Defense Verdict in Pregnancy Discrimination/Wrongful Termination Suit

Pettit Kohn Ingrassia Lutz & Dolin Shareholder Thomas Ingrassia, Senior Counsel Matthew Smith, and Associate Erik Johnson, successfully defended a prominent San Diego Senior Care Facility against a former employee’s claims of pregnancy and disability discrimination, and wrongful termination of employment.  The case was tried to a jury in San Diego County Superior Court, North County Division.

The plaintiff, who had been suspended for serious performance issues, resigned from her position, rather than risk discharge.  She later filed a complaint alleging nine causes of action, including claims for violation of the California Family Rights Act, discrimination, retaliation, failure to provide meal breaks, failure to provide adequate lactation accommodations, and breach of contract.  Several of the plaintiff’s claims were dismissed before trial.

After a 5-day trial, the jury deliberated for less than two hours before returning a defense verdict with respect to the plaintiff’s remaining causes of action.  Mr. Ingrassia and Mr. Smith successfully proved that their client provided the plaintiff with all appropriate accommodations, and that no discrimination occurred.  Prior to trial, plaintiff asserted that she had suffered damages in excess of $1,750,000.

The defense team’s diligence and trial experience proved advantageous when handling numerous trial strategy changes by plaintiff’s counsel, leading to a gratifying win for the client.

“Our facility truly appreciates and is proud of the great employees that make a difference in resident lives every day,” said Pettit Kohn’s client.  “It’s unfortunate when things don’t work out with a member of the team and the last thing we want is to be in a dispute with a former employee.  However, we have a responsibility to the community, residents, and other employees to aggressively defend what we believe are unfounded claims and protect the good reputation of the community and team.”

Congratulations to Tom, Matt, Erik, paralegal Jammie Smith, and the entire Pettit Kohn team!