Sales director terminated after pregnancy leave; claims wrongful termination. Defense. Orange County.


After returning from maternity leave, 10-year employee is terminated, she says without warning.

The Case

  • Case Name: Levin v. Minacs Group USA
  • Court and Case Number: Orange County Superior Court / 30-2016-00872438-CU-WT-CJC
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Wednesday, April 11, 2018
  • Date Action was Filed: Wednesday, August 31, 2016
  • Type of Case: Wrongful Termination
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Ronald Bauer
  • Plaintiffs:
    April Levin
  • Defendants:
    Minacs Group USA
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: Defense.
  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 8 days.
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 4 1/2 hours.

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Grobaty Pitet LLP by Michael Grobaty and Robert Peck, Newport Beach.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Archer Norris by Sharon C. Collier, Walnut Creek.

    Archer Norris by Shain Wasser, Los Angeles.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    Plaintiff was discharged 10 weeks after returning from maternity leave.  There was no warning and company did not go through its usual performance management  process. She had been employed with defendant company approximately 10 years and held the position of Account Director at the time of her termination.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    Plaintiff claimed that she was wrongfully terminated in retaliation for taking a maternity leave.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    Defendant contended that plaintiff was discharged for creating a hostile work environment and for her unprofessional workplace behavior. Coworkers had complained that plaintiff was unprepared at client meetings and undermined their work in front of clients.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Plaintiff claimed lost earnings totaling up to approximately $1.2 million and claimed an unidentified amount for pain, suffering, and humiliation.

Special Damages

  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Lost Earnings: $298,142 - $392,006
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Lost Earnings: $250,000 - $800,000

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff §998 Demand: $359,999
  • Defendant §998 Offer: $55,000 + any statutorily recoverable costs and attorney’s fees incurred, which amounts would be determined on motion to the court.

Additional Notes

There were no settlement discussions during the trial.