This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 04/10/2020 at 20:17:10 (UTC).

NICOLE MARIE HERMANSON VS NOVO NORDISK INC ET AL

Case Summary

On 05/11/2018 NICOLE MARIE HERMANSON filed a Labor - Wrongful Termination lawsuit against NOVO NORDISK INC. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are RUTH ANN KWAN, DAVID SOTELO and DANIEL S. MURPHY. The case status is Disposed - Dismissed.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****5434

  • Filing Date:

    05/11/2018

  • Case Status:

    Disposed - Dismissed

  • Case Type:

    Labor - Wrongful Termination

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

RUTH ANN KWAN

DAVID SOTELO

DANIEL S. MURPHY

 

Party Details

Plaintiff, Petitioner and Appellant

HERMANSON NICOLE MARIE

Defendants and Respondents

MOTT GLEN

MCLEISH SARAH

DOES 1 TO 100

NOVO NORDISK INC.

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

RAND-LEWIS SUZANNE E. ESQ.

RAND-LEWIS TIMOTHY DANN

RAND-LEWIS SUZANNE ELIZABETH ESQ.

Defendant and Respondent Attorneys

MORGAN LEWIS & BOCKIUS LLP

LANDY DARYL STEVEN

GONZALEZ ANAHI STEVEN

MCGUIGAN KATHRYN T

NGUYEN NANCY MY NGOC

 

Court Documents

COMPLAINT FOR: 1. BREACH OF CONTRACT; ETC

5/11/2018: COMPLAINT FOR: 1. BREACH OF CONTRACT; ETC

Order Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore

3/6/2020: Order Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (RULING ON SUBMITTED MATTER)

3/10/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (RULING ON SUBMITTED MATTER)

Declaration - DECLARATION OF RODNEY CARR IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

2/26/2020: Declaration - DECLARATION OF RODNEY CARR IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Order Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore

1/22/2020: Order Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION TO QUASH MOTION TO QUASH DEPOSITION NOTICE)

1/22/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION TO QUASH MOTION TO QUASH DEPOSITION NOTICE)

Declaration - DECLARATION OF KATHRYN MCGUIGAN IN SUPPORT OF REPLY TO MSJ

1/24/2020: Declaration - DECLARATION OF KATHRYN MCGUIGAN IN SUPPORT OF REPLY TO MSJ

Ex Parte Application - EX PARTE APPLICATION TO COMPEL CONTINUED DEPOSITION OF PLAINTIFF

12/9/2019: Ex Parte Application - EX PARTE APPLICATION TO COMPEL CONTINUED DEPOSITION OF PLAINTIFF

Declaration - DECLARATION OF NANCY NGUEYN

9/13/2019: Declaration - DECLARATION OF NANCY NGUEYN

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (EX-PARTE PROCEEDINGS FOR ISSUANCE OF A PROTECTIVE ORDER, OR I...)

6/17/2019: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (EX-PARTE PROCEEDINGS FOR ISSUANCE OF A PROTECTIVE ORDER, OR I...)

Separate Statement

4/30/2019: Separate Statement

Order Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore

3/11/2019: Order Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore

Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses

2/5/2019: Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses

Minute Order -

8/21/2018: Minute Order -

PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS -

6/11/2018: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS -

PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS -

6/12/2018: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS -

NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

5/22/2018: NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

141 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 04/06/2020
  • DocketAppeal - Notice of Appeal/Cross Appeal Filed; Filed by Nicole Marie Hermanson (Appellant)

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  • 04/02/2020
  • Docketat 09:50 AM in Department 40; Court Order

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  • 04/02/2020
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Court Order)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 04/02/2020
  • DocketJudgment (Judgment as to Defendant Sarah McLeish); Filed by Sarah McLeish (Defendant)

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  • 04/02/2020
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for ((Court Order) of 04/02/2020); Filed by Clerk

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  • 04/02/2020
  • DocketJudgment (Judgment as to Defendant Novo Nordisk, Inc.); Filed by Novo Nordisk, Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 03/30/2020
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 40; Non-Appearance Case Review (reSubmission of Proposed Order of Judgment) - Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court

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  • 03/20/2020
  • DocketNotice Re: Continuance of Hearing and Order; Filed by Clerk

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  • 03/11/2020
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 40; Hearing on Motion for Sanctions

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  • 03/10/2020
  • Docketat 2:44 PM in Department 40; Ruling on Submitted Matter

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197 More Docket Entries
  • 05/22/2018
  • DocketNOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

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  • 05/22/2018
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 05/17/2018
  • Docketat 2:00 PM in Department 72; (Affidavit of Prejudice; Case is reassigned) -

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  • 05/17/2018
  • DocketMinute Order

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  • 05/17/2018
  • DocketMinute order entered: 2018-05-17 00:00:00; Filed by Clerk

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  • 05/14/2018
  • DocketChallenge To Judicial Officer - Peremptory (170.6); Filed by Nicole Marie Hermanson (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/14/2018
  • DocketAFFIDAVIT OF PREJUDICE PEREMPTORY CHALLENGE TO JUDICIAL OFFICER (CODE CIV. PROC., 170.6)

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  • 05/11/2018
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Nicole Marie Hermanson (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/11/2018
  • DocketCOMPLAINT FOR: 1. BREACH OF CONTRACT; ETC

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  • 05/11/2018
  • DocketSUMMONS

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC705434    Hearing Date: January 22, 2020    Dept: 40

MOVING PARTY: Defendants Novo Nordisk, Inc. & Sarah Mcleish

OPPOSITION: Plaintiff Nicole Marie Hermanson

Plaintiff Nicole Hermanson sues Defendants Novo Nordisk, Inc. and Sara McLeish (collectively, “Defendants”), respectively her former employer and manager, for damages. Plaintiff alleges she was wrongfully terminated by defendants because of her gender, a disability, and in retaliation.

On July 3, 2019, Plaintiff served an Amended Notice of Taking Depositions and for Production of Documents, seeking to depose Scott Ross, Eric Lasky, Jill Fallows Macaluso, and Kathy Ward among others. Ross and Lasky are Novo’s in-house counsel, Macaluso is Novo’s Chief Compliance Officer, and Ward is an employee of Novo. On July 22, 2019, Defendants filed this opposed motion seeking to quash the notice of depositions and to stay the depositions. Alternatively, Defendants request that a protective order be issued precluding the depositions.

Analysis: Ross and Lasky: GRANTED

Plaintiff alleges that the deposition of Ross and Lasky is necessary because they, along with Lisa Piccinetti, an ER representative, investigated her claims that she was being harassed by McLeish, her manager. Defendants argue that the deposition notice should be quashed because of the attorney-client privilege and the work-product doctrine.

Generally, the attorney-client privilege applies to a lawyer’s pre-litigation investigation for a client, provided the dominant purpose of the lawyer’s participation in the investigation is to give legal advice regarding the subject matter of the investigation, rather than routine fact-finding. Wellpoint Health Networks, Inc. v. Sup.Ct. (1997) 59 Cal.App.4th 110, 122–124. An employer may waive the attorney-client privilege regarding the contents of an attorney’s investigation by raising the fact of the investigation as a defense.

The circumstances under which opposing counsel may be deposed are limited to those where: “(1) no other means exist to obtain the information than to depose opposing counsel; (2) the information sought is relevant and not privileged; (3) the information is crucial to the preparation of the case.” (Spectra-Physics, Inc. v. Superior Court, (1998) 198 Cal. App. 3d 1487, 1494-95; citing Shelton v. America Motors Corp., (8th Cir. 1986) 805 F.2d 123.)

The Court will quash the deposition notice of Ross and Lasky. Arguably, Plaintiff can establish the second and third Shelton factors. However, Plaintiff cannot establish that the first factor applies. The factual findings of the investigation are obtainable through other means such as the deposition of Piccinetti who conducted the harassment investigation. Wellpoint does not apply because based on the deposition transcript, it appears that in-house counsel was consulted but were not involved in “routine fact finding” part of the investigation. (Nguyen Decl., Ex. 7.)

Macaluso: GRANTED

Plaintiff alleges that Macaluso’s testimony is necessary because during her employment she complained about Defendants’ breach of policy and law. Plaintiff alleges she was terminated because of the complaints she made. Plaintiff states that the complaints and compliance were the responsibility of Macaluso. Defendants argue that Macaluso is their Chief Compliance Officer and that she has no direct knowledge about Plaintiff’s claims or termination.

A corporate president or officer who is at the “apex” of a corporate hierarchy may be prohibited from being deposed by the filing of a motion for a protective order where the moving party shows that the corporate officer lacks knowledge of the facts at issue, or involvement in the litigation is sought before the plaintiff exhausts less intrusive means of discovery. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. v. Superior Court (1992) 10 Cal.App.4th 1282, 1287–1288. Trial courts, in determining whether to grant a protective motion for such a deposition “should first determine whether the plaintiff has shown good cause that the official has unique or superior personal knowledge of discoverable information. If not, as will presumably often be the case in the instance of a large national or international corporation, the trial court should issue the protective order and first require the plaintiff to obtain the necessary discovery through less intrusive methods.” (Id. at p. 1289.)

The Court will quash the deposition notice of Macaluso. Plaintiff does not allege that she directly complained to Macaluso about Defendants’ breaches of policy and law. Macaluso, as Chief Compliance Officer, surely had intermediaries who received and investigated Plaintiff’s complaints. Plaintiff’s opposition itself simply states that “Macaluso’s department” was investigating McLeish. Plaintiff has failed to show good cause that Macaluso herself has unique or superior personal knowledge of the investigation. The motion to quash is GRANTED.

Ward: DENIED

Plaintiff alleges that the deposition of Ward is necessary because she was Novo’s HR witness who processed and investigated her disability claim. Defendants argue that Ward does not have any unique or relevant knowledge, that she does not reside in California, and her testimony would be duplicative. Defendants state that the information Plaintiff seeks from Ward is readily available through other means such as written discovery responses, deposition of their corporate representative, and the deposition of Piccinetti.

The request to quash Ward’s deposition notice is deniede. The Court cannot determine to what extent Ward’s testimony will be duplicative. Defendants have not demonstrated that their proposed alternatives have already covered all the specific areas that Plaintiff wants to depose Ward about.

Conclusion: Defendants’ Motion for Order Quashing Plaintiff’s Notice of Depositions and Staying the Taking of Depositions is GRANTED IN PART. The notice of depositions is quashed as to Scott Ross, Eric Lasky, and Jill Fallows Macaluso. The motion is denied as to Kathy Ward.

Defendants to give notice.

Case Number: BC705434    Hearing Date: November 04, 2019    Dept: 40

MOVING PARTY: Plaintiff Nicole Marie Hermanson

OPPOSITION: Defendants Novo Nordisk, Inc. AND Sarah Mcleish

Plaintiff Nicole Hermanson sues Defendants Novo Nordisk, Inc. and Sara McLeish (collectively, “Defendants”), her former employer and manager, for damages. Plaintiff alleges she was wrongfully terminated by Defendants because of her gender and a disability.

On May 29, 2019, the Court ordered Defendants’ Person Most Qualified (“PMQ”) to appear for a deposition. On June 18, 2019, the PMQ’s deposition took place. Plaintiff states that the PMQ was not knowledgeable about the case and that Defendants failed to produce unredacted documents.

On August 23, 2019, Plaintiff filed the instant motion for an order compelling the depositions of Defendants’ PMQ and Production of Documents. Plaintiff requests terminating sanctions, evidentiary sanctions, and monetary sanctions in the amount of $8,061.65.

Standard: Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.230 states: “[i]f the deponent named is not a natural person, the deposition notice shall describe with reasonable particularity the matters on which examination is requested. In that event, the deponent shall designate and produce at the deposition those of its officers, directors, managing agents, employees, or agents who are most qualified to testify on its behalf as to those matters to the extent of any information known or reasonably available to the deponent.”

Analysis: Plaintiff argues that the PMQ lacked personal knowledge, had not reviewed each document produced, and did not independently verify if the documents produced complied with the May 2019 order.

Initially, there is a dispute between the parties as to the nature of this motion. Plaintiff refers to it as an order to make Defendants comply with the May 2019 order. However, the Court agrees with Defendants that this is a motion to compel further. It is undisputed that Defendants produced a PMQ per the May 2019 order. The issue is whether the PMQ’s responses were adequate.

At the June 2019 deposition Defendants presented Steven Everett McCord as their PMQ. McCord was hired after Plaintiff was terminated and therefore lacked any personal knowledge about the events leading up to Plaintiff’s termination. If the PMQ lacks personal knowledge, then the PMQ must familiarize themselves with the information and documents available to the corporate entity. Maldonado v. Superior Court (2002) 94 Cal. App. 4th 1390, 1396.

A review of the transcript indicates that the PMQ appears fairly knowledgeable about the case. The PMQ answered Plaintiff’s questions based on his study of the documents produced. Several of Plaintiff’s complaints about the PMQ were about his lack of involvement in the procurement of documents. However, the PMQ does not need to directly be involved in the procurement of documents because case law states that “the witness or someone in authority is expected to make an inquiry of everyone who might be holding responsive documents or everyone who knows where such documents might be held.” (Maldonado, supra, 94 Cal.App.4th at p. 1396) (emphasis added.) Defendants’ position is that they have inquired and that all responsive documents were produced. As to the PMQ’s lack of personal knowledge, the depositions of the people with personal knowledge about Plaintiff’s termination are scheduled to occur. Therefore, Plaintiff’s motion to compel and request for sanctions is DENIED.

Conclusion: Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel is DENIED.

Case Number: BC705434    Hearing Date: October 30, 2019    Dept: 40

MOVING PARTY: Plaintiff Nicole Marie Hermanson

OPPOSITION: Defendants Novo Nordisk, Inc. AND Sarah Mcleish

Plaintiff Nicole Hermanson sues Defendants Novo Nordisk, Inc. and Sara McLeish (collectively, “Defendants”), her former employer and manager, for damages. Plaintiff alleges she was wrongfully terminated by Defendants because of her gender and a disability.

On May 29, 2019, the Court ordered Defendants’ Person Most Qualified (“PMQ”) to appear for a deposition. On June 18, 2019, the PMQ’s deposition took place. Plaintiff states that the PMQ was not knowledgeable about the case and that Defendants failed to produce unredacted documents.

On August 23, 2019, Plaintiff filed the instant motion for an order compelling the depositions of Defendants’ PMQ and Production of Documents. Plaintiff requests terminating sanctions, evidentiary sanctions, and monetary sanctions in the amount of $8,061.65.

Standard: Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.230 states: “[i]f the deponent named is not a natural person, the deposition notice shall describe with reasonable particularity the matters on which examination is requested. In that event, the deponent shall designate and produce at the deposition those of its officers, directors, managing agents, employees, or agents who are most qualified to testify on its behalf as to those matters to the extent of any information known or reasonably available to the deponent.”

Analysis: Plaintiff argues that the PMQ lacked personal knowledge, had not reviewed each document produced, and did not independently verify if the documents produced complied with the May 2019 order.

Initially, there is a dispute between the parties as to the nature of this motion. Plaintiff refers to it as an order to make Defendants comply with the May 2019 order. However, the Court agrees with Defendants that this is a motion to compel further. It is undisputed that Defendants produced a PMQ per the May 2019 order. The issue is whether the PMQ’s responses were adequate.

At the June 2019 deposition Defendants presented Steven Everett McCord as their PMQ. McCord was hired after Plaintiff was terminated and therefore lacked any personal knowledge about the events leading up to Plaintiff’s termination. If the PMQ lacks personal knowledge, then the PMQ must familiarize themselves with the information and documents available to the corporate entity. Maldonado v. Superior Court (2002) 94 Cal. App. 4th 1390, 1396.

A review of the transcript indicates that the PMQ appears fairly knowledgeable about the case. The PMQ answered Plaintiff’s questions based on his study of the documents produced. Several of Plaintiff’s complaints about the PMQ were about his lack of involvement in the procurement of documents. However, the PMQ does not need to directly be involved in the procurement of documents because case law states that “the witness or someone in authority is expected to make an inquiry of everyone who might be holding responsive documents or everyone who knows where such documents might be held.” (Maldonado, supra, 94 Cal.App.4th at p. 1396) (emphasis added.) Defendants’ position is that they have inquired and that all responsive documents were produced. As to the PMQ’s lack of personal knowledge, the depositions of the people with personal knowledge about Plaintiff’s termination are scheduled to occur. Therefore, Plaintiff’s motion to compel and request for sanctions is DENIED.

Conclusion: Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel is DENIED.