Carney Shegerian, trial lawyer and founder of the Los Angeles-based employment discrimination firm Shegerian & Associates, announced this week that The California Court of Appeal issued a ruling in the case of Gantner v. Lemonade Restaurant Group, LLC. The court ruled in favor of Shegerian & Associates client Jacqueline Gantner and against Lemonade Restaurant Group, LLC, represented by Gordon & Rees and attorneys Stephen E. Ronk and Jennifer L. Ghozland, and will result in a new jury trial.
Gantner was hired in August, 2009, and held various positions including assistant manager, general manager of the restaurant group’s flagship location, and eventually corporate catering manager.
In April, 2012, Gantner was having panic attacks and needed to take some time off, and also complained about wage and hour violations as well as sexist conduct and pay inequalities with her male counterparts. Following this time off and these accusations, she was terminated, and she claims it was because of these complaints as well as the fact that she had recently disclosed her pregnancy.
Gantner filed suit against her former employer, alleging gender-pregnancy discrimination, disability discrimination, failure to accommodate, failure to engage in the interactive process, wrongful termination, and retaliation. In early 2016, the case went to trial in front of a California jury.
During jury deliberations, the jury was confused by the court’s instructions on the number of votes necessary to answer questions on the special verdict form. The jury believed that if they had a lack of nine “yes” votes on any question, that they should answer “no” to that question.
“Part of a fair trial by jury is the jury fully understanding how to deliberate and answer specific questions on a special verdict form,” said Carney Shegerian. “In this case, the jury misunderstood how to answer those questions, which impacted the ultimate outcome of the trial and prejudiced my client from receiving a fair trial.”
“With The Court of Appeal ruling this week, we will be taking Jacqueline’s case back to trial in front of a new jury, and she will once again have her chance to a fair jury trial,” added Shegerian. “Jacqueline has an incredibly strong case with clear evidence on our side, and deserves compensation for her mistreatment.”