(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this workplace discrimination/personal injury case and its proceedings.)
CACI 2502 – Elements of Disparate Impact Discrimination
There was testimony at trial that the part of the sexual harassment policy that disciplines persons who make false allegations of sexual harassment is not enforced. The large majority of allegations of sexual harassment are made by women against men. This selective enforcement of the policy, therefore, has a disparate impact on men, and CACI 2502 should have been given to address this situation.
Erroneous or Misleading Instructions
An erroneous or misleading jury instruction is an error in law for which a new trial may be granted. (See Bruck v. Adams (1968) 259 Cal. App. 2d 585, 587; Mazzotta v. Los Angeles Ry. Corp. (1944) 25 Cal. 2d 165, 170, 153 P.2d 338.) An erroneous instruction given by the court to the jury is considered excepted to as a matter of law. (See Code Civ. Proc. § 647; Stoneburner v. Richfield Oil Co. (1931) 118 Cal. App. 449, 453.) An order granting a new trial for error in instructions will be affirmed if the challenged instruction was erroneous in any degree or even if it is only fairly debatable that the instruction may have been misleading. (Shaw v. Pacific Greyhound Lines (1958) 50 Cal. 2d 153, 159.)
A new trial may be granted on the ground of error in law occurring at trial when an instruction has been given that includes an incorrect or incomplete statement of law applicable to a material issue and the error was not cured by the charge as a whole or otherwise rendered harmless. (Brignoli v. Seaboard Transportation Co. (1947) 29 Cal. 2d 782, 790.)
In this case the instruction regarding defamation with respect to defendant Byrd was correct, but the special verdict form prepared by defendants was incorrect. The first question in Special Verdict Form VF-1704 Defamation Per Se and in Special Verdict Form VF-1705 Defamation Per Quod with respect to defendant Byrd asked “Did Marcia Byrd maliciously report that she was harassed by Bobby White?” There is no requirement under the law that such a report be malicious, and the forms themselves do not use that language.
For each of the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff respectfully requests that the Court make an order granting him a new trial on the issues of defamation, and race and gender discrimination within the 60-day jurisdictional period established under CCP 661 (June 13, 2007).
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.