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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Court of Appeal Reverses Summary Judgment in FEHA Age and Disability Case

In Sandell v. Taylor-Listug, Inc. (September 7, 2010) --- Cal.App.3d ---, 2010 WL 3470388, the Court of Appeal reversed an order granting summary judgment (SDSC, Halgren) in an age and disability discrimination FEHA action. The Court held:

Approximately six months into his employment at Taylor-Listug, Sandell suffered a stroke after receiving a chiropractic adjustment. Sandell returned to work at Taylor-Listug in late 2004. During the remainder of Sandell's employment at Taylor-Listug, he required a cane to walk, and his speech was noticeably slower than it had been prior to his stroke. Taylor-Listug's chief executive officer terminated Sandell's employment in late 2007, a few days after Sandell's 60th birthday, citing displeasure with Sandell's performance as vice president of sales.

The trial court concluded that there were no triable issues of fact with respect to Sandell's discrimination claims, and granted summary judgment in favor of Taylor-Listug. Having reviewed the record presented on summary judgment, we conclude that Sandell presented evidence sufficient to establish a prima facie case of disability and age discrimination, and in response to Taylor-Listug's proffer of legitimate nondiscriminatory reasons for terminating his employment, Sandell presented sufficient evidence to raise a triable issue of fact as to whether the motivation for his termination was discriminatory. We therefore reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand the matter for further proceedings.

Slip op. at 1. The opinion is available here.

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