County of Los Angeles whistleblower. $257K.


African-American manager in LA County Tax Collector's office says he was retaliated against after blowing whistle on the activities of a senior manager.

The Case

  • Case Name: Winston v. County of Los Angeles
  • Court and Case Number: Los Angeles Superior Court / 19STCV28021
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Wednesday, November 24, 2021
  • Date Action was Filed: Wednesday, August 07, 2019
  • Type of Case: Discrimination, Racial, Employment, Whistleblower
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Gregory Alarcon
  • Plaintiffs:
    Harold Winston, 63
  • Defendants:
    County of Los Angeles
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $257,000
  • Economic Damages:


  • Non-Economic Damages:


  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 7 days
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 4 hours, 20 minutes
  • Jury Polls: The jury determined 11 - 1 that Mr. Winston was retaliated against for his whistleblowing complaints. The jury found in favor of the County of Los Angeles on Plaintiff's race-based retaliation claims.

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Law Office of Michael J. Curls by Michael J. Curls and Nichelle D. Jordan, Los Angeles.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Peterson Bradford Burkwitz by George Peterson,  Burbank.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    Plaintiff was a 30-year employee with the County of Los Angeles. His position title at the time of leaving the County agency was Supervising Deputy, Public Administrator I.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    Plaintiff contended that he was retaliated against for raising concerns of misappropriation of Probate Assets by a manager in the County of Los Angeles Department of Treasurer and Tax Collector. Plaintiff claimed that Treasurer and Tax Collector senior management collaborated to cover-up the alleged misdeeds.

    Plaintiff also contended that he was retaliated against for complaining that Black employees, and Black males in particular, were subjected to disparate treatment at the County of Los Angeles. 

    Plaintiff  further contended that he was not able to return to work at the County of Los Angeles as a result of the hostile work environment that he was subjected to.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    Defendant contended that Mr. Winston suffered discipline because of the manner in which he expressed his whistleblowing and race-based concerns, not the content of his complaints.  Also denied any cover-up of the misdeeds.

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff Final Demand before Trial: $250,000
  • Defendant Final Offer before Trial: $30,000