Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Northern California Daily Digest

Here are some of the other interesting cases filed on Friday:

In Means v. City and County of San Francisco, the plaintiff, a nurse, claimed she was harassed by coworkers who called her "black and ugly" in Tagalog (pangit itim nasyr) "so much from men and women on just about every [hospital] ward [she] went."  The City responds that Ms. Means can only remember two people calling her that and could not remember the name of one of those people.  Judge Thelton Henderson found that this dispute created a genuine issue of material fact as to whether "the conduct was sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of Means’s employment" under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act or the California Fair Employment and Housing Act.  the Court denied summary judgment and set the case for trial.

In Gerstein v. CIA, the journalist wants a list of names from the Department of Justice's Office of Professional Responsibility to see who DOJ has been investigating under the Freedom of Information Act.  DOJ claims the names are protected under the exemption prohibiting disclosure of private personal information.  Judge Maxime M. Chesney is not sure who is right and wants the CIA to disclose the titles of the people involved to determine if they are high ranking enough to evade protection under that exemption.

Hynix v. Rambus is a long-lasting patent infringement case which is now on appeal. Hynix lost at trial and, given its precarious financial situation, was asked to post a bond in the form of a mortgage on a factory.  Now, Hynix has recovered and would rather mortgage the factory to expand the business.  Judge Ronald M. Whyte thought that was reasonable and asked Hynix to post a cash bond allowing it to lift the mortgage.

Salsman v. Access Systems Americas involves discovery dispute gone bad.  At a status conference, Access said that Salsman had never provided a formal discovery request.  Salsman sued for a violation of the False Claims Act stating he had made such a request.  Magistrate Patricia V. Trumball stated that Salsman's discovery request was not formal and therefore there was no alleged violation of the FCA.  She dismissed the complaint with leave to amend.

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