Recent Trials

– David Rubalcaba v. Albertson’s, LLC, Tavis Grim, Case No. BC528755. June, 2016.

Plaintiff David Rubalcaba filed suit against his former employer Albertson’s LLC and store manager Tavis Grim. Plaintiff began working at Albertson’s in 1980 as a produce clerk, then became produce manager in 1982. Plaintiff alleged that Albertson’s failed to engage in the interactive process with him regarding his brain tumor and retaliated against him for opposing Albertson’s failure to engage in the interactive process. Plaintiff also alleged that he had opposed his manager’s sexual harassment of two female subordinates and Albertson’s relied on that manager as the only witness in terminating him. Although Plaintiff admitted to taking home three wooden boxes, he stated that his manager had told him to throw them away.

Albertson’s claimed that Plaintiff took home three wooden beer boxes. Albertson’s conducted an investigation into the missing boxes and Plaintiff admitted that he took the boxes home. Pursuant to Albertson’s policy of zero tolerance for employees removing anything from the store, Albertson’s terminated Plaintiff.

After a four-week trial and another week of deliberations, the jury awarded $1,242,125 and together with attorney fees and costs, the total judgement was $2,085,458.53.

– Olvin Maldonado, Manuel Cobian Hernandez, individually and on behalf of all employees similarly situated v. Epsilon Plastics Inc., Tamayo Cubarubia, Case No. BC460298. August, 2016.

Plaintiffs Olvin Maldonado and Manuel Cobian Hernandez filed a class action suit against their employer Epsilon Plastics Inc. and Tamayo Cubarubia. Plaintiffs worked as hourly plastic bag machine operators, under the direct supervision of plant manager Cubarubia. Plaintiffs and the Class claimed that they should have been paid overtime for hours 9 and 10 of their 12-hour shifts as well as waiting time penalties and inaccurate pay stub penalties. Plaintiffs also alleged meal and rest break violations.

Defendant claimed that it had properly instituted an alternative workweek schedule, such that it was not required to pay overtime for hours 9 and 10. Defendant also claimed that Plaintiffs were given all meal and rest breaks.

After a three-week trial conducted in two phases, Plaintiffs and the Class recovered all damages requested during the trial, and attorney fees and costs for a total judge of $1,901,896.72.

Recent Results

– Angel, et al. v. Academy Automobile Insurance, Inc, et al. (BC545021). December 29, 2017.

Plaintiffs Gabriela Angel, Guadalupe Cabrera, Jessica Castillo, Jacqueline Chamorro, Samantha Hernandez, Mayra Martin, Vivian Pena, Emperatriz Ramirez, Maria Rodriguez, and Rosario Torres filed a class action suit against their employer Academy Automobile Insurance, Inc. Plaintiffs worked as customer service representatives and claimed that they were required to work off the clock without pay, were denied overtime pay, were not reimbursed business expenses, were denied meal and rest breaks and were required to pay for alleged cash shortages.

Defendants claimed that they did not violate any wage and hour laws and that Plaintiffs were paid all amounts due to them.

After obtaining class certification and participating in two full days of mediation, the case was settled for $1,175,000.

Upcoming Trials

– Gruzalski, Collins, Langevin v. FedEx Corporation et al, Case Nos. BC512638/BC589594.

Plaintiffs filed a whistleblower claim against FedEx. In their lawsuit, Plaintiffs allege that during their employment, Plaintiff Brian Gruzalski (a mechanic) complained to his lead (Plaintiff Stanley Langevin) about illegal and unsafe aircraft repair. In turn, Langevin complained to his manager (Plaintiff Mark Collins) about the unsafe aircraft repair. Plaintiffs allege that as a result of their complaints of illegal and unsafe aircraft repair, FedEx retaliated against them through suspension, harassment, demotion, refusal to promote, and termination. At one point, the claims include that FedEx’s managing director of FedEx William Cusato told Plaintiff Gruzalski that if he did not stop complaining about illegal aircraft repair, there were “50 guys that wanted to kick his ass.” Plaintiff Collins also has claims for race discrimination including allegations that FedEx selected less qualified employees for Senior Manager position over Collins due to their race.

FedEx denies that it did anything wrong and claims that it was justified in terminating Gruzalski for allegedly using profanity.