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Eliz C A Johnson

Eliz Johnson’s Legal Cases

8 total

  • Spear v. CSAA, 2 Cal.4th 1035

    Practice Area:
    Personal Injury
    Date:
    Jan 01, 1992
    Outcome:
    California Supreme Court decision for our client
    Description:
    First major case with future partner of 18 years. California Supreme Court, jointly prepared Supreme Court argument. Petition for review after the Court of Appeal reversed a judgment on the pleadings in a civil action. Presents issues concerning the coordination of workers' compensation and uninsured motorist claims based on the same incident.
  • John R. Ulrich, Jr. v. City and County of San Francisco,

    Practice Area:
    Employment & Labor
    Date:
    Jun 18, 2004
    Outcome:
    Federal Jury verdict of $4.3 million after 4 hours of deliberation
    Description:
    United States District Court, Northern District of California, Case Number C 99-05003-THE, Date of Verdict: June 18, 2004, I acted as second chair in trial. My Partner was lead trial counsel. We worked with another SF attorney on it.
  • Confidential Settlement

    Practice Area:
    Employment & Labor
    Date:
    May 05, 2000
    Outcome:
    Settled in private mediation for $750,000
    Description:
    Plaintiff contracted breast cancer, notified her employer that she would need some time off from work to seek treatment. Her employer told her not to worry about her job, but to concentrate on getting well. Plaintiff was advised by her doctor that she would need an 8 month course of chemotherapy and radiation treatments. She informed her employer’s human resources director who told her that her job would be protected. After the Plaintiff embarked upon her course of treatment and while she was in the middle of her chemotherapy, her employer fired her claiming that she had exhausted the company policy of 4 months of medical leave of absence. The company never designated the medical leave as being FMLA qualifying leave as required by FMLA regulations. In the state court, Plaintiff filed a complaint under the FEHA, alleging medical condition and physical disability discrimination. After Plaintiff discovered two years later that the employer failed to designate, Plaintiff attempted to amend the complaint to allege a violation of the CFRA. When that was denied, Plaintiff filed a complaint in federal court under the FMLA, which has no EEOC claims exhaustion requirement and a two or three year statute of limitations. Defendants succeeded in a summary judgment motion in state court, which was reversed on appeal. Plaintiff succeeded in Federal Court on the FMLA claim but was denied termination damages. Plaintiff appealed the damages issue to the 9th Circuit and won, but on the reconsideration, lost. The case was set for trial in the state court case and was settled one week before the trial was to start. DEFENDANTS CONTENTIONS: Defendants denied discrimination on the basis of cancer, asserted that the employer had given Plaintiff 4 months of medical leave and had thereby more than reasonably accommodated her medical condition; the employer further asserted that it was not required to hold a job open for indefinitely or even for 8 months; the employer further contended that it had no duty to accommodate the Plaintiff because at the time it fired her, she was too sick to work because of her chemotherapy treatments and there is no requirement under the FEHA to accommodate an individual unless the person is able to perform the essential functions of the job, with or without accommodation and this Plaintiff was too sick to do anything. PLAINTIFF’S CONTENTIONS: Plaintiff asserted that it is unlawful to promise an employee enough time to get treatment for breast cancer and then fire her in the middle of her chemotherapy treatment; she contended that the employer which had a one year personal leave of absence, could have accommodated her by granting the leave it had promised which was for a finite time. Plaintiff did not insist that her job be held open for the 8 month period, merely that she be considered for a comparable position for which she was qualified at the conclusion of her leave. MEDIATION: The case went through three mediations, the successful one occurring one week prior to trial with Linda Myers, in Malibu. The mediation resulted in a settlement of $750,000.00. Plaintiff also received about $35,000.00 in her FMLA federal case.
  • Schneider v. Gardner, Goodney Docket Number C98-05195

    Practice Area:
    Personal Injury
    Date:
    Nov 30, 1999
    Outcome:
    $612,500.00
    Description:
    This case is about a death from a rare disease from a dog bite in a woman who had no spleen. The Schneiders had been married for 35 years. They have two adult children, a Son and a Daughter. Mr.Schneider is a retired bus driver in San Francisco. As such, Patricia, age 54, was the primary wage earner of the family, working as a nurse for 33 years and was, most recently a Registered Nurse-Nurse Practitioner [RN-NP]. Diane was a professional beautician who did some appointments out of her home. On February 9, 1998, Mrs. Schneider made an appointment for a facial and went to Diane’s home. According to Diane Gardner, Pat bent down to pet the dog and the dog jumped up on her and bit her on the lip. Four days later, Patricia Schneider was dead from the infection from that dog bite. Liability as to Gardner is on negligence and premises liability based on “business invitee”. She was defended under a Homeowner’s Policy. Co defendant Elaine Goodney lived with Diane Gardner. She owned Rudi, a Jack Russell terrier who lived with her. Liability as to her is strict liability as dog owner under Civil Code Section 3342. She was defended under a Homeowner’s Policy. The cause of death is listed on the Coroner’s Report and the Death Certificate as Capnocytophaga Canimorsus, which is an infection from a rare bacteria, caused by the dog bite. The symptoms of the infection manifest as flu-like symptoms. The pathologist who performed the autopsy testified that because Schneider did not have a spleen she was particularly susceptible to Capnocytophaga Canimorsus which is passed into the bloodstream by means of a rare bacteria which some dogs apparently carry in their mouths.
  • Confidential Settlement E011306

    Practice Area:
    Employment & Labor
    Date:
    Apr 08, 1996
    Outcome:
    Settled in private mediation for $150,000
    Description:
    Plaintiff is a fifty-three year old used car salesman who claimed he was fired from his job on account of his diagnosis of cancer. Defendants were his employer, a used car dealership for cars that were sold after their useful life for rental and two of his former supervisors. Plaintiff filed a complaint in San Diego Superior Court, alleging cancer discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act {ADA} and the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and for Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress. Plaintiff worked in the car selling business for 27 years. In September of 1994, Plaintiff was hired by Defendants and was asked to sign on as the General Sales Manager with the expectation of expanding the Company’s market. In December, 1994, Plaintiff became aware of a growth on his back and he went to the doctor to have it checked out. On January 19, 1994, he was diagnosed with malignant melanoma, the deadliest of skin cancers, which causes about 7,200 deaths each year in the United States. On February 2, 1995, Plaintiff met with his surgical oncologist and together they planned to surgically remove the cancer on February 15, 1995. On February 2, 1995, Plaintiff went to a Supervisor and informed him that he had a malignant melanoma and he needed to have surgery on February 15, 1995 and would be taking off the day before to prepare. On February 3, 1995, the General Sales Manager asked Plaintiff if he wanted to join him in going to the DMV to renew his vehicle salesman's license. Plaintiff’s license had lapsed. As Plaintiff was the only Manager on duty, he said he was unable to leave the store. A salesman's license requires a one time fingerprinting and is renewable every three years with payment of a $50.00 fee. The General Sales Manager never had a license and Plaintiff’s needed to be renewed. The Office Manager had been after both men to get to DMV to take care of it, reminding both men several times to do it and neither man had gotten around to doing it by February 3, 1995, the day after notice of the cancer. On February 5, 1995, an advertisement appeared in the San Diego Tribune seeking Sales Managers. On February 11, 1995, a new employee was hired in response to the ad. On February 13, 1995, at 8:30 a.m., Plaintiff reminded a Supervisor that he was taking off at the end of the day to have his cancer surgery. The Supervisor told Plaintiff, "No problem. We will cover and take care of it as long as you need, we can cover for you." After letting Plaintiff complete that full work day, that Supervisor called Plaintiff into his office, handed him a memo firing him for “not having a valid salesman's license”. Plaintiff claims there were four other employees who also had expired licenses during Plaintiff’s employment, however, they were not terminated. PLAINTIFF’S CONTENTIONS: Plaintiff contended that he was fired on account of his diagnosis of cancer in violation of the ADA and the FEHA. DEFENDANTS’ CONTENTIONS: Defendants contend the firing had nothing to do with cancer and that Plaintiff was fired solely for not having renewed his Salesman’s License.
  • Dorame v Owens Valley Unified School District

    Practice Area:
    Employment & Labor
    Date:
    Jun 16, 1994
    Outcome:
    $125,000.00
    Description:
    This case was a cancer discrimination case brought under the Fair Employment & Housing Act [particularly, California Govt. Code Section 12926] and the Americans with Disabilities Act which provide that it is an unlawful practice for an employer to discriminate against an employee on account of race, age, national origin, handicap or medical condition. "Medical condition"--which specifically includes cancer--is one from which a person has been rehabilitated or cured. Under the FEHA, a Court may order reinstatement, award damages for lost wages, past and future, emotional distress, punitive damages and attorneys fees. Plaintiff, Dorame, a highly qualified and skilled bookkeeper had three and a half years experience with the Owens Valley School District. She was hired October 30th, 1988 as a permanent employee of the School District. On October 31, 1991, Mrs. Dorame was diagnosed with breast cancer. She informed the new Superintendent and was granted a medical leave of absence. She had surgery to remove the cancerous lump and received a course of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The Superintendent hired a temporary replacement bookkeeper to fill in while Dorame received her treatments. The Superintendent was informed about the progress of the treatment on a monthly basis by Dorame's husband. On March 11, 1992, the District sent a letter to Mrs. Dorame's home indicating that she must report back to work immediately. Dorame was in Long Beach with her husband for two weeks while getting her chemotherapy and didn't get the letter until her return on March 23, 1992. On Dorame's return and receipt of the letter, she immediately contacted the District, reminding them that she was out of town during their meeting on March 17, 1992. Her Oncologist decided that she could return to work without restriction on April 13, 1992 so she requested an extension of her leave to April 12, 1992, which the District counted as eight additional working days. Dorame even offered to have the extension as unpaid leave. The plaintiff's request to extend her leave until April 12 is actually a request for three working days because the School District improperly included five days of accrued sick leave in their leave of absence calculation. The Board voted in the same agenda to deny the additional three days leave and to hire a less qualified replacement in Dorame's place. The issue was raised and approved in an almost simultaneous motion with no genuine consideration of the requested additional "reasonable accommodation" of three days to help accommodate Mrs. Dorame's disability. Under Government Code Section 12920, et seq., an "employer", which includes School Districts, has an obligation to accommodate a person who has cancer and who has special needs. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act [hereinafter, ADA], 42 USC 12101, et seq., the employer has the same obligation. Here, the employer had a request for three more working days so that a course of chemotherapy treatment could be concluded. They refused to allow what would have been an easily workable reasonable accommodation. The jury found that the termination was based on her disability and the Jury awarded $37,000.00 in special and general damages. The Court awarded attorneys fees and costs of $86,000.00. The Defendant appealed to the Fourth Appellate District, Division Two. The case has settled prior to any Court of Appeal rulings.
  • DeJong v Confidential Employer

    Practice Area:
    Employment & Labor
    Date:
    Mar 24, 1994
    Outcome:
    $125,000.00
    Description:
    This is a summary of a settlement in the United States District Court Room of Charles F. Eick, Magistrate Judge. This case was a cancer discrimination case brought under California Govt. Code Section 12926 which provides that it is an unlawful practice for an employer to discriminate against an employee on account of race, age, national origin, handicap or medical condition. Medical condition is defined as cancer, for which a person has been rehabilitated or cured. Under the FEHA, a Court may order re-instatement, award damages for lost wages, past and future, emotional distress, punitive damages and attorneys fees. Plaintiff was a 26 year old woman employed as a sales person for trucking services. On September 21, 1992, she fell on her boat and injured her knee so she called her relatively new employer to confirm health coverage. She was told she should have coverage. An x-ray was taken and plaintiff was referred for an MRI which could not be timely done because, as it turned out, the employer did not properly put Plaintiff on the health plan. On October 21, 1992, the MRI was done and it revealed a tumor. She told her employer that a tumor had been found on October 22, 1992. On October 27, 1992, she was diagnosed with cancer and told her employer. Her employer tried to fire Plaintiff on October 28, 1992 but because Plaintiff had pre-operative tests and was unable to come in the office until November 2, 1992, they waited until that date to fire her. The office manager told another person in a business in the same building that she was told by the owner himself to fire Plaintiff because of her cancer. The insurance company did eventually pick up coverage but for a while, Ms. DeJong had no insurance at all and faced the prospect of huge medical bills for which she would be personally liable. Ms. DeJong was never allowed to go back to work, as stated above, because the employer wanted to fire her prior to her surgery. She was recovered from her cancer and able to return back to work but was not allowed. The case was filed in Superior Court under the Fair Employment and Housing Act but was later removed to Federal Court, Central District, where it was ultimately settled on March 24, 1994 for $125,000.00.
  • Rodrigues v Best Buy

    Practice Area:
    Personal Injury
    Date:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Outcome:
    $1,850,000, private mediation
    Description:
    This case involves a motor vehicle accident that occurred in San Ramon, California. Plaintiff Rodrigues, was working at his job delivering wheels on July 15, 2003, when a 16 foot Bobtail truck owned by Magnolia Hi-Fi, a wholly owned subsidiary of Best Buy, rear ended him while he was stopped at a stoplight at San Ramon Valley Blvd off of the 680 freeway north. The truck was driven by Dulay, an employee of Magnolia who was delivering a high end entertainment system for his employer. The force of the impact caused the cab of the Bobtail truck to break loose from its locking mounts and rotate forward and up; the force of the impact was so great that it caused the bolts which attach the seat belt, which Mr. Rodrigues was wearing, to rip out of the floor mounts and his seatbelt to come completely off. As a result of this accident Ralph Rodrigues suffered severe, permanent and life long injuries. His injuries to his back preclude him from returning to his formerly lucrative employment as a member of the IBEW in the electrical field of installing cell towers and cable installations. Far worse perhaps is the fact that as a direct result of the impact Mr. Rodrigues now suffers from permanent migraine headaches which will last for the rest of his life. Mr. Rodrigues was newly married just three months before the accident. He had an implant surgically installed to relieve the various pains he was having but it did not work and had to be redone two more times. Life long disability and pain follow him.