Whistleblower - School safety officer complained of illegal activity. $800K. San Bernardino County.


Long-time high school safety officer complains about other school staffers' behavior, is later fired.

The Case

  • Case Name: Perry Davis v. Redlands Unified School District
  • Court and Case Number: San Bernardino Superior Court / CIVSB2103756
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Wednesday, March 27, 2024
  • Date Action was Filed: Saturday, January 16, 2021
  • Type of Case: Employment, Whistleblower
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Jay Robinson
  • Plaintiffs:
    Perry Davis, 50.
  • Defendants:
    Redlands Unified School District
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $800,000
  • Economic Damages:

    Past: $250,000 

    Future: $250,000

  • Non-Economic Damages:

    Past: $150,000

    Future: $150,000 

  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 13 days
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 3 hours
  • Jury Polls: 12-0

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Workplace Justice Advocates, PLC by Tamara Freeze, Irvine.

    Hannemann Law Firm by Brian Hannemann,  Upland.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Aarvig & Associates by Maria Aarvig, San Bernardino.

The Experts

  • Plaintiff's Technical Expert(s):

    Mark Falkenhagen, economics.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    Plaintiff, a school safety officer, worked at an Redlands East Valley High School for eight years without any performance issues and had excellent performance reviews.  He was also an assistant coach for several high school sports.  After he complained about illegal activity at the school, including circulation of a nude photo of a student by a supervisor to another security staff member, and cover-up of a student drug-possession incident at a prom, the defendant district terminated his employment on the alleged grounds of  incompetence, insubordination, negligence, discourteous and abusive conduct toward others and dishonesty.   He was fired in October 2020.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    That plaintiff had a spotless work history at RUSD, including excellent performance reviews, pay raises, promotions and a positive reputation among school staff, teachers and parents. In January 2019, he submitted a written complaint to the school principal about illegal activities at the school. He submitted additional written complaints to the District HR Director, Dr. Joseph Hyde, regarding a cover-up and fraud of a student drug possession incident at a prom by a school assistant principal.

    After that, plaintiff was suspended and the district trumped up nine accusations ("charges") against Mr. Davis, which resulted in his termination.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    That plaintiff was fired for insubordination, dishonesty, sexual harassment, violating student boundaries policy and missing paperwork.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Past and future economic damages and past and future emotional distress.

Demands and Offers

  • Defendant Final Offer before Trial: $7,000