April 21, 2015
CERRITOS, Calif. — Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo (AALRR) Cerritos partners Irma Rodriguez Moisa and Amber M. Solano, achieved a nominal $5,000 settlement after a two-week jury trial and before the presentation of the defense case in a disability discrimination and retaliation case before a San Bernardino County Superior Court.
The case, Elpidio Garcia v. Food 4 Less, was initiated in April 2013, and involved claims against Ralphs Grocery Company doing business as Food 4 Less. Based on a workplace accident, Garcia claimed restricted lifting and the development of anxiety, panic attacks and a motor tic as a result of his injury. He also contended that Food 4 Less stopped accommodating his limitations due to his injury, and asked him to perform work beyond his restrictions.
Food 4 Less, claimed it accommodated Garcia’s work restrictions and was unaware of his claims that he performed work outside of his restrictions. The company was also unaware that he suffered from panic attacks. In December of 2011, Garcia was observed breaking company policy by consuming products without paying for them, and was suspended. After a thorough investigation, Mr. Garcia was terminated for his actions.
“Ultimately, this case came down to the believability of the two stories. Mr. Garcia’s version relied heavily on his subjective unsupported beliefs, while Ralphs was based on provable facts,” commented Irma Rodríguez Moisa, AALRR partner. “I believe that once we went to trial, his team realized where the jury was headed and settled for next to nothing. Ralphs is an important client to our firm and we are elated with the outcome of this case.”