Defense verdict in employment action. Shasta County.

The Case

  • Case Name: Jane Doe v. Gateway Unified School District
  • Court and Case Number: Shasta County Superior Court / 167034
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Tuesday, April 22, 2014
  • Date Action was Filed: Tuesday, August 18, 2009
  • Type of Case: Employment
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. William Gallagher
  • Plaintiffs:
    Jane Doe school district emploee
  • Defendants:
    Gateway Unified School District
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: Defense Verdict
  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 12 days
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 35 minutes
  • Jury Polls: 12-0

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:
    Jeffrey D. Fulton, Law Offices of Jeffrey D. Fulton, Sacramento.
  • Attorney for the Defendant:
    John P. Kelley, Halkides, Morgan & Kelley, Redding.

The Experts

  • Plaintiff's Technical Experts:
    Dale Pletcher, PhD., economics, Sacramento.
  • Defendant's Technical Experts:
    Rick Sarkisian, Ph.D., work rehabilitaion, Fresno.
    Alan Swanson, School District’s general counsel, Redding.
    Jeff Kuhn, school financial matters, Fresno.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    Plaintiff was the Chief Business Official of the Gateway Unified School District. She turned a memo in to the School Board claiming illegal activity by the Superintendent. The Board hired an attorney to investigate; he found no illegal activity. The Superintendent retired shortly thereafter. The new Superintendent reassigned plaintiff from her Chief Business Official position to a teaching position, a $44,000 cut in pay. She refused the position and sued.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    That the retiring Superintendent conspired with the School Board and the new Superintendent to have plaintiff removed from her position.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    That plaintiff, who had only been the Chief Business Official for 9 months, was incompetent. The new Superintendent wanted someone in the position with more experience, so he asked the Board to reassign her and promoted someone with 40 years of experience into the position.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Lost wages of over a million dollars and emotional distress.

Special Damages

  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Lost Earnings: $200,000
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Lost Earnings: $800,000+

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff Final Demand before Trial: 2,000,000
  • Defendant §998 Offer: Waiver of costs.