The following blog entry is written from a defendant’s position as trial approaches. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.
(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this sexual harassment case and its proceedings.)
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF CLAIMS AND DEFENSES PRESENTED AND ISSUES TO BE DECIDED
The Court granted summary adjudication on Hill’s 8th and 9th causes of action for overtime pay and meal penalties, and Hill has agreed to entry of judgment on her related 11th cause of action under Labor Code Section 201. Accordingly, Hill has eleven remaining causes of action. As set forth below, one of Hill’s causes of action will be tried to the Court and, depending on the outcome of that proceeding, eleven of the causes of action may be tried to the jury. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.
14th Cause of Action under Business & Professions Code § 17200 to Be Decided By Court
Hill’s 14th Cause of Action for violation of Business Professionals Code Section 17200 (harassment, discrimination, and retaliation on the basis of sex) must be tried to the Court rather than the jury. Hodge v. Superior Court, 145 Cal. App. 4th 278, 281 (2006) ( We conclude no jury trial is warranted. The gist of the section 17200 cause of action is equitable and the relief sought is equitable even though plaintiffs could have requested damages for the same violations, even though the employer has asserted an affirmative defense, and even though the UCL cause of action will require proof of the underlying Labor Code violations. ); People v. First Fed. Credit Corp., 104 Cal. App. 4th 721,732-733 (2002) ( [T]he concern that juror passion or prejudice may affect a punitive damage award … is absent in UCL cases because there is no right to a jury trial in such cases.”)
See also, People v. Toomey, 157 Cal. App. 3d 1, 17 (1984) ( And it is now firmly established an action brought pursuant to the unfair business practices act seeks only civil penalties, and accordingly the due process rights which apply in criminal actions, including the right to a jury trial, need not be provided. ); Cargill Inc. v. Progressive Dairy Solutions, Inc., 2010 U.S. App. LEXIS 1033 (9th Cir. Cal, Jan. 19, 2010) ( We note that defendants’ § 17200 counterclaim was not subject to a jury trial. ). Defendants have filed a motion to bifurcate requesting that the Court hear issues relating to this cause of action first.
Hill’s Section 17200 claim asks the Court to find that Defendants engaged in unlawful sex harassment, gender discrimination and retaliation. Defendants deny Hill was subject to any speech or conduct because of her gender, and further deny that they retaliated against her for a protected complaint or protest. Defendants more fully respond to these claims below. (See Part 3 of 10.)
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.