This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 08/15/2019 at 09:23:09 (UTC).

KATHERYNE VANCE VS PUBLIC HEALTH INSTITUTE

Case Summary

On 03/02/2018 a Labor - Other Labor case was filed by KATHERYNE VANCE against PUBLIC HEALTH INSTITUTE in the jurisdiction of Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****6383

  • Filing Date:

    03/02/2018

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Labor - Other Labor

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

ELIZABETH ALLEN WHITE

 

Party Details

Petitioner and Plaintiff

VANCE KATHERYNE

Defendants and Respondents

PUBLIC HEALTH INSTITUTE

DOES 1 TO 25

 

Court Documents

CIVIL DEPOSIT

5/29/2018: CIVIL DEPOSIT

CASE MANAGEMENT STATEMENT

8/1/2018: CASE MANAGEMENT STATEMENT

CASE MANAGEMENT STATEMENT

8/8/2018: CASE MANAGEMENT STATEMENT

Minute Order

8/15/2018: Minute Order

CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER

8/15/2018: CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER

PLAINTIFF'S NOTICE OF POSTING JURY FEES

8/24/2018: PLAINTIFF'S NOTICE OF POSTING JURY FEES

CASE MANAGEMENT STATEMENT

8/24/2018: CASE MANAGEMENT STATEMENT

Stipulation and Order

12/4/2018: Stipulation and Order

Amended Complaint

12/11/2018: Amended Complaint

Proof of Service by Mail

1/31/2019: Proof of Service by Mail

Certificate of Mailing for

3/8/2019: Certificate of Mailing for

Memorandum

3/27/2019: Memorandum

Order

3/29/2019: Order

Minute Order

3/29/2019: Minute Order

PROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONS

5/4/2018: PROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONS

NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

3/19/2018: NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

SUMMONS

3/2/2018: SUMMONS

COMPLAINT FOR: (1) UNLAWFUL AGE DISCRIMINATION IN VIOLATION OF FEHA

3/2/2018: COMPLAINT FOR: (1) UNLAWFUL AGE DISCRIMINATION IN VIOLATION OF FEHA

11 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 03/09/2020
  • Hearingat 09:30 AM in Department 48 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Jury Trial

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  • 03/04/2020
  • Hearingat 08:30 AM in Department 48 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Final Status Conference

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  • 03/29/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 48, Elizabeth Allen White, Presiding; Hearing on Ex Parte Application (to Continue the Trial Date or Alternatively to Specially Set A Hearing Date for Defendants Motion For Summary Judgement) - Held - Motion Granted

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  • 03/29/2019
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Hearing on Joint Ex Parte Application to Continue the Trial D...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 03/29/2019
  • DocketOrder (Granting Defendants Ex Parte Application re Continue Trial Date or Alternatively to Specially Set a Hearing Date for Defendants Motion For Summary Judgment); Filed by Public Health Institute (Defendant)

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  • 03/29/2019
  • DocketEx Parte Application (to Continue the Trial Date or Alternatively to Specially Set A Hearing Date for Defendants Motion For Summary Judgment); Filed by Public Health Institute (Defendant)

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  • 03/27/2019
  • DocketMemorandum (of Points and Authorities re Joint Ex Parte Application ro Continue Trial Date or Alternatively to Specially Set a Hearing Date for Defendants Motion For Summary Judgment); Filed by Public Health Institute (Defendant)

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  • 03/27/2019
  • DocketDeclaration (of Lee E. Sheldon re Joint Ex Parte Application ro Continue Trial Date or Alternatively to Specially Set a Hearing Date for Defendants Motion For Summary Judgment); Filed by Public Health Institute (Defendant)

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  • 03/08/2019
  • Docketat 11:30 AM in Department 48, Elizabeth Allen White, Presiding; Court Order

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  • 03/08/2019
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for (Minute Order (Court Order Re: Stipulation and [Proposed] Order to Continue ...) of 03/08/2019); Filed by Clerk

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19 More Docket Entries
  • 05/29/2018
  • DocketReceipt; Filed by Public Health Institute (Defendant)

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  • 05/25/2018
  • DocketDEFENDANT PUBLIC HEALTH INSTITUTE'S ANSWER TO PLAINTIFF KATHERYNE VANCE'S COMPLAINT FOR UNLAWFUL AGE DISCRIMINATION IN VIOLATION OF FEHA

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  • 05/25/2018
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by Public Health Institute (Defendant)

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  • 05/04/2018
  • DocketProof-Service/Summons; Filed by Katheryne Vance (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/04/2018
  • DocketPROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONS

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  • 03/19/2018
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 03/19/2018
  • DocketNOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

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  • 03/02/2018
  • DocketCOMPLAINT FOR: (1) UNLAWFUL AGE DISCRIMINATION IN VIOLATION OF FEHA

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  • 03/02/2018
  • DocketSUMMONS

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  • 03/02/2018
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Katheryne Vance (Plaintiff)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC696383    Hearing Date: November 04, 2019    Dept: 48

MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT/SUMMARY ADJUDICATION

MOVING PARTY: Defendant Public Health Institute

RESPONDING PARTY(S): Plaintiff Katheryne Vance

PROOF OF SERVICE:

ANALYSIS

Defendant’s Evidentiary Objections

Pursuant to CCP § 437c(q), the Court exercises its discretion to rule only upon the objections asserted against evidence which the Court deems to be material to the disposition of this motion.

Declaration of Katheryne Vance

¶ 7: SUSTAINED. Contradicts admitted fact.

¶ 8: OVERRULED. Statement is consistent with deposition testimony.

Motion for Summary Judgment

Plaintiff’s 1AC filed on December 11, 2018 asserts two causes of action: (1) Age Discrimination in Violation of FEHA; (2) Retaliation in Violation of FEHA.

Although Defendant did not address the first cause of action in the separate statement as an issue to be summarily adjudicated (i.e., individual causes of action), Defendant did address the first cause of action in the separate statement as a basis for summary judgment (i.e., all causes of action).

The McDonnell Douglas burden shifting framework applies to both discrimination (Featherstone v. Southern California Permanente Medical Group (2017) 10 Cal.App 5th 1150, 1158-1160) and retaliation claims (Sada v. Robert F. Kennedy Med. Ct. (1997) 56 Cal.App.4th 138, 155-56). Featherstone v. Southern California Permanente Medical Group (2017) 10 Cal.App 5th 1150, 1158-1160.

Defendant has presented evidence that the entire position of “Facility Compliance Officer”—not just Plaintiff’s individual job—was selected for elimination because of a budget cut in 2017 after a determination that the position was the least critical to accomplishing the grant deliverables that were required pursuant to the grant from the State of California. Plaintiff was offered and accepted the position of Visual Editor” with Defendant that allowed her to continue working with no break in service. UFs Nos. 4-7; Def’s Exh. B (RFA No. 2, 2:20-22, Nos. 3-5 & 30-31 (sic 29-30), 2:23-28, 3:1-3, 5:4-8); Exh. C (Response to No. 2, 2:19-23; Response to Nos. 3-5 and 30-31, 2:24-28, 3:1-11, 8:3-12); Induni Decl., ¶¶ 1-7 and Exh. A thereto; Def’s Exh. D (Pltf’s Depo.), 44:11-1, 159:6-23, 14:11-18, 16:7-9, 65:18-25, 66:1-25.

Moreover, after Plaintiff’s position was eliminated, her former duties as a Facility Compliance Officer were transferred to existing employees, Winny Roshala (over 60) and Kyle Ziegler (over 50). UF Nos. 8 – 10; 1-7; Def’s Exh. D (Pltf’s Depo.) at 94:3-25, 95:1-14, 96:21-23, 96:25, 97:1-8; Def’s Exh. B (RFA Nos. 14 (sic 13) to 16 (sic 15), 3:25-28, 4:1-6; 19 (sic 18) – 21 (sic 20), 4:7-12); Exh. C (Responses, Nos. 13-16, 5:7-21; 19-21; 6:6-19); Ziegler Decl., ¶ 2.

Plaintiff admitted at her March 13, 2019 deposition that she is not aware of any facts that may be known by: (1) Marta Induni, (2) Rosemary Cress, (3) Kyle Ziegler, (4) Winny Roshala, (5) Mignon Dryden, (6) Taina Valone, (7) Denna LeTendre, or (8) Stephanie Phipps that will support her claims of discrimination and retaliation against Defendant. UF No. 13; Def’s Exh. D (Pltf’s Depo. at 24:24 – 28:11, 56:13-17, 57:4-7, 79:11-16, 135:2-20, 136:14-25, 137:1-25, 138:1-19, 140:14-21, 143:1-9, 144:24-145:23). The foregoing individuals were identified in Plaintiff’s response to Special Interrogatory No. 2 as all persons with personal knowledge of the facts that support her claims against Defendant. UF No. 12; Def’s Exh. G at 2:15-23; Exh. H at 4:11-26.

Moreover, contrary to Plaintiff’s allegation at ¶ 15 of the 1AC, Plaintiff has admitted that Defendant did not hire a new Facility Compliance Officer in July 2017. UF No. 15; Def’s Exh. B (RFA No. 36 (sic 35), 5:19-20; Def’s Exh. C (Response No. 35, 9:10-13); Def’s Exh. D (Pltf’s Depo.) at 127:19-25, 128:1-11.

Further, contrary to Plaintiff’s allegation in ¶ 20 of the 1AC, Defendant did not have a plan to reduce the average age of its workforce in 2017. UF No. 16; Def’s Exh. B (RFA No. 37 (sic 36), 5:21-23); Def’s Exh. C (Response, No. 37, 9:14-20).

Based upon the foregoing evidence, Defendant has met its initial burden that it is entitled to judgment as to the discrimination and retaliation causes of action. The burden shifts to Plaintiff to raise a triable issue of material fact.

Plaintiff has not cited evidence of pretext, i.e., that a reasonable fact finder could infer that Defendant’s proffered reason was false and that the real reason was age discrimination.

The plaintiff must do more than raise the inference that the employer's asserted reason is false. “[A] reason cannot be proved to be ‘a pretext for discrimination’ unless it is shown both that the reason was false, and that discrimination was the real reason.” (St. Mary’s Honor Center v. Hicks (1993) 509 U.S. 502, 515 [125 L. Ed. 2d 407, 113 S. Ct. 2742].) If the plaintiff produces no evidence from which a reasonable fact finder could infer that the employer's true reason was discriminatory, the employer is entitled to summary judgment. (Caldwell v. Paramount Unified School Dist., supra, 41 Cal.App.4th at p. 203.)

Hicks v. KNTV Television, Inc. (2008) 160 Cal.App.4th 994, 1003 (bold emphasis and underlining added).

Although Plaintiff states in her Declaration that Defendant added a new Facility Compliance Officer in July 2017, who is approximately a decade Plaintiff’s junior (Vance Decl., ¶ 7), as noted above, Plaintiff is deemed to have admitted that this is not true.

Moreover, although Plaintiff states at ¶ 8 of her Declaration that she was required to delegate her responsibilities to her much younger (2 decades) supervisor, this does not raise an inference that the true reason for the elimination of Plaintiff’s position was age discrimination. Indeed, this person was Plaintiff’s supervisor, i.e., an existing employee, presumably paid more than Plaintiff, not a newly-hired younger person who would be paid less. Further, Defendant has presented evidence that the two employees to whom Plaintiff’s former duties were transferred were over 60 (Winny Roshala) and over 50 (Ziegler). Def’s UFs Nos. 8, 9.

Plaintiff’s evidence cited in the opposing separate statement only goes to whether Defendant’s decision to eliminate Plaintiff’s position in light of the various sources of funding was wise or correct. However, as noted above:

“[I]f nondiscriminatory, [the employer's] true reasons need not necessarily have been wise or correct. [Citations.] While the objective soundness of an employer's proffered reasons supports their credibility … , the ultimate issue is simply whether the employer acted with a motive to discriminate illegally.

Featherstone v. Southern California Permanente Medical Group (2017) 10 Cal.App 5th 1150, 1158-1160 (italics in original, bold emphasis and underlining added).

Accordingly, Plaintiff has not met her burden of citing admissible evidence sufficient to raise a triable issue of material fact. The motion for summary judgment is GRANTED.