Jacoby v. Georgetown divide public utility district – wrongful termination/retaliation defense verdict

Richard Jacobson obtains defense verdict for a foothills water district in whistleblower-harassment employment trial.

In this case, tried in January 2017 in El Dorado Superior Court, plaintiff alleged that he was terminated in retaliation for initiating a sexual harassment investigation and “blowing the whistle” on an allegedly illegal financial transaction.  The target of both allegations was the District’s former general manager, who terminated Plaintiff shortly following the revelations.  Plaintiff brought claims under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and under §1102.5 of the California Labor Code (“Whistleblower” Protection Statute).  Richard Jacobson successfully represented the defendant District, obtaining a defense verdict during the third week of trial.  Jacobson argued that Jacoby was terminated for legitimate reasons unrelated to claimed “whistleblowing.”  Before and during trial Plaintiff demanded $250,000 in settlement.  His attorney had argued to the jury for total damages exceeding $750,000.00.  If Plaintiff prevailed, he would also have been entitled to recover attorneys’ fees and costs under FEHA.