Court finds that County's action "was retaliatory on its face."
- Case Name: Goodson v. County of Plumas
- Court and Case Number: Plumas County Superior Court / 2:18-cv-03105-KJM-DB
- Date of Verdict or Judgment: Thursday, July 20, 2023
- Date Action was Filed: Friday, November 30, 2018
- Type of Case: Employment, Highlighted Verdicts, Sexual Harassment, Wrongful Termination
- Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Kimberly J. Mueller
Plaintiffs: Tiffany Goodson, 38
Defendants: County of PlumasBrandon Compton
- Type of Result: Bench Verdict
- Gross Verdict or Award: $752,214
- Net Verdict or Award: $752,214
Award as to each Defendant:
The Court found that plaintiff was in fact sexually harassed by her sergeant. The Court found: "the County relied on [an Investigator and Undersheriff's] dubious, one-sided, and even false accusations against [Plaintiff] to justify its decision to terminate her employment.” "The notice of [Undersheriff's] recommendation to terminate [Plaintiff’s] employment, which he wrote on the County’s behalf and which the County adopted, was retaliatory on its face."
Past lost earnings: $52,214
Future lost earnings: $200,000
- Trial or Arbitration Time: 6 days
- Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Attorneys fees pending.
Attorney for the Plaintiff:
CAL LAW APC by Calvin Chang, Sacramento.
Joseph E. Maloney, Auburn.
Law Office of G. Eric Lambdin by G. Eric Lambdin, Sacramento.
Attorney for the Defendant:
Prentice Long, PC by Margaret E. Long, Redding.
Angelo, Kilday & Kilduff LLP by Serena M. Warner, Sacramento.
Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):
Anthony E. Reading, Ph.D., psychology.
Defendant's Medical Expert(s):
Plaintiff's Technical Expert(s):
Charles R. Mahla, Ph.D., economics.
Amy Oppenheimer, workplace investigations.
Paul Edmonds, data analysis.
Defendant's Technical Experts: None
Facts and Background
Facts and Background:
Plaintiff worked as a correctional officer in Plumas County. In the summer of 2018, she reported that a supervising sergeant, Brandon Compton, had sexually harassed her. Compton resigned, but within two weeks, the County put Goodson on administrative leave. It began an investigation that culminated in her termination. Plaintiff had been employed as a correctional officer for the county for six years.
At trial, the former sergeant admitted to having grabbed plaintiff’s breast, but claimed it was accidental.
That plaintiff's supervisor subjected plaintiff to numerous unwelcome sexual comments and conduct, including grabbing her breasts. That the department then created a hostile work environment for plaintiff in violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. Also, that the County is liable for terminating her employment, based in part on a retaliatory motive.
That plaintiff fabricated the sexual harassment complaint because the sergeant had admonished her about her performance on one day. That the Sheriff's Department terminated her employment because she fabricated her sexual harassment complaint, which is making a false sexual harassment complaint and the crime of filing a false police report, had an overfamiliar relationship with an inmate, and for failing to conduct adequate jail procedures.
Injuries and Other Damages