Production worker fired for insubordination awarded $482,511. Los Angeles County.


57-year-old production worker is fired when he fails to clean out a storage trailer after being told to do so; he says that he was physically injured off-the-job and unable to perform the task.

The Case

  • Case Name: Kivman v. Worldwide Aeros, et al.
  • Court and Case Number: Los Angeles Superior Court/ BC483187
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Thursday, April 25, 2013
  • Date Action was Filed: Friday, April 20, 2012
  • Type of Case: Employment, Wrongful Termination
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Victor E. Chavez
  • Plaintiffs:
    Arkady Kivman, 57, production technician
  • Defendants:
    Worldwide Aeros Corp.; Aeros Aeronautical Systems Corp.
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $482,511
  • Net Verdict or Award: $482,511
  • Economic Damages:


  • Non-Economic Damages:


  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 5 days
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 1 day

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:
    Yadegar Minoofar & Soleymani LLP by Navid Yadegar and Navid Soleymani, Los Angeles
  • Attorney for the Defendant:
    Russakow, Green & Tan by Mark Russakow, Pasadena

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
    Anthony Reading, Ph.D., clinical psychology, Beverly Hills
  • Plaintiff's Technical Experts:
    Susan Bleecker, CPA, Pasadena
  • Defendant's Technical Experts:
    Brian Kleiner, Ph. D, human resources, Los Angeles

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    Plaintiff was injured in 2007 and required disc-fusion surgery. He took a medical leave and returned to work in 2008 with restrictions. Plaintiff was injured again in 2010 with blood poisoning and an arthritis flare-up. He took a two week medical leave and returned to work with restrictions. Plaintiff was again injured in 2011 with a torn tendon in his shoulder. Shortly after his last injury, and before plaintiff had a chance to seek treatment, plaintiff's boss asked him to clean out a forty-foot storage trailer. Plaintiff was unable to complete the task and was  fired.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    That he told his employer about the injuries in 2007 and 2010. He contended that defendants ignored his requests for accommodation. Plaintiff said that in 2011, when he was injured, he did not tell anyone because he thought he would get better. When his boss asked him to clean out the storage trailer, he told his boss that he had hurt himself and needed to see a doctor. His boss got mad and terminated him.

    Plaintiff contended that he had received numerous bonuses, letters and raises further, that there were only two reprimands in his file, neither dealing with performance.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    That plaintiff did not inform them of his injuries in 2007 and 2010.  That when, on his last day, they asked him to clean up, plaintiff refused and never told them about his injuries. Thus, they fired him for insubordination.

    Defendants argued that plaintiff was performing poorly and that he had received many warnings. They further argued that they kept him around only as a charity because without the job he wouldn't have money to support himself. That when he refused to clean the trailer, they eliminated his position and fired him.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Lost income and emotional distress.

Special Damages

  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: $4,392
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: $13,780
  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Lost Earnings: $80,505
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Lost Earnings: $53,834

Additional Notes

Defendants did not make any offers of settlement before or during trial.