Termination was legitimate and non-discriminatory

Plaintiff was hired as a blood bank technician in Mercy Medical Center Redding's laboratory, focusing on the blood bank aspect of the operation. After several months wherein plaintiff clashed with co-workers and was repeatedly warned about her non-performance of her job issues, she was finally placed on a 90-day performance improvement plan. When plaintiff failed to improve her performance in conformance with the stated expectations of her supervisors, she was terminated. Plaintiff filed a lawsuit, claiming discrimination based on her national origin and retaliation. She alleged that she was treated differently than other employees because she was ethnic Chinese, and had been a Cambodian refugee. She also alleged that she had raised concerns regarding supposed safety violations, including submitting a complaint to outside accrediting agencies. Plaintiff filed her lawsuit in San Francisco County, where trial was held in June 2008. After a nine-day trial, the trial judge dismissed the discrimination claims outright, as well as certain other claims, leaving only the wrongful termination claim for the jury to decide. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Mercy Medical Center Redding, finding that Mercy had legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons for plaintiff's termination.

Kelly Snowden and Margaret Englehardt Long tried the case on behalf of Mercy Medical Center Redding. Plaintiff appealed the jury's verdict, claiming legal error in the verdict form. The court of appeal upheld the jury's decision. We successfully argued the appeal on behalf of Mercy Medical Center Redding.