Police sergeant claims retaliation by City of Los Angeles after prior lawsuit. $1.2M. Los Angeles County.


LAPD officer says the department retaliated against him becasue of a lawsuit he filed against the city in 2006.

The Case

  • Case Name: Richard Joaquin v City of Los Angeles
  • Court and Case Number: Los Angeles County Superior Court / BC 597 336
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Wednesday, October 27, 2021
  • Date Action was Filed: Friday, October 09, 2015
  • Type of Case: Employment
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Kristin S. Escalante
  • Plaintiffs:
    Richard Joaquin, 53
  • Defendants:
    City of Los Angeles
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $1,200,000
  • Non-Economic Damages:


  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 7 days
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 2 days
  • Jury Polls: 11-1
  • Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Attorney fees and costs.

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Law Offices of Gregory W. Smith, LLP by Gregory W. Smith and Diana W. Wells, Beverly Hills.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    City Attorney's Office by Casey T Shim and Kevin E. Barry, Los Angeles.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    Plaintiff is a sergeant employed by the Los Angeles Police Department. Plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles in 2006 for sexual harassment and retaliation in violation of the FEHA. That litigation culminated with the Court of Appeal reversing a jury verdict and finding in favor of the City of Los Angeles.

    After 2013, plaintiff alleged that the LAPD took further retaliatory actions against him because of the 2006 lawsuit. Plaintiff alleged a series of retaliatory acts.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    That plaintiff was subjected to retaliation in violation of the FEHA because he had filed a previous lawsuit. Plaintiff alleged that he had been denied an advancement to Sergeant II and denied a lateral move to MTA.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    City of Los Angeles contended that it did not retaliate against plaintiff, that most of the decision makers had no knowledge of his prior lawsuit and that it made personnel moves based upon qualifications; that equally or more qualified candidates were given the positions that plaintiff sought.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Joaquin suffered from anxiety, reputation damage, sleeplessness and fear that he was targeted by LAPD command staff.

Special Damages

  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: None.
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: None.
  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Lost Earnings: None.
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Lost Earnings: None.

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff Final Demand before Trial: $800,000
  • Defendant Final Offer before Trial: $100,000