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ULRICH v. CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO

United States District Court, N.D. California


July 9, 2004.

JOHN R. ULRICH, JR., Plaintiff,
v.
CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO, LAGUNA HONDA HOSPITAL, Defendants.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: THELTON HENDERSON, Senior District Judge

JUDGMENT

This case came on regularly for trial commencing June 8, 2004. Plaintiff was represented by William Gordon Lewis, Lewis & Johnson, and Edith J. Benay, Law Office of Edith J. Benay. Defendants were represented by Deputy City Attorneys Karen E. Kirby and Jonathan U. Lee. A panel of seven jurors was selected and sworn. One juror was excused shortly thereafter, leaving a total of six members of the jury throughout the remainder of the trial. The witnesses and evidence were presented, arguments concluded, and the jury was duly instructed. On June 18, 2004, the jury deliberated and thereafter returned with a special verdict, which is attached hereto and incorporated herein as Appendix A.

Therefore, with GOOD CAUSE APPEARING, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED ADJUDGED AND DECREED that plaintiff John R. Ulrich, Jr. shall recover from defendants the following based on the special verdict:

  1. $3,000,000.00 (three million dollars) on his First Amendment claim; and 2. $1,300,000.00 (one million three hundred thousand dollars) on his Fourteenth Amendment claim.

  Plaintiff is awarded costs according to proof.

  IT IS SO ORDERED.

  APPENDIX A

 

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
JOHN R. ULRICH, JR., Plaintiff, v. NO. C-99-05003 TEH CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO, LAGUNA HONDA VERDICT FORM HOSPITAL, Defendants.

  A. First Amendment Claim

  1. Did Plaintiff prove by a preponderance of the evidence that he was subjected to an adverse employment action through one or more of Defendants' following actions: (a) Conducting a peer review investigation; (b) Declining to rescind Plaintiff's resignation; (c) Sending an adverse action report to the National Practitioners Data Bank; (d) Refusing to void that report thereafter; or (e) cancellation of the October 22, 1998 meeting between Dr. Ulrich and the Peer Review Committee to present his rebuttal.

 Yes ? No. ____

  If your answer to No. 1 is NO, skip to Question No. 6. 2. If your answer to No. 1 is YES, did Plaintiff prove by a preponderance of the evidence that his speech activity was a substantial motivating factor in Defendants' decision(s) to take any of the actions described in No. I above?

 Yes ? No. ____

  If your answer to No. 2 is NO, skip to Question No. 6.

  3. If your answer to No. 2 is YES, did Plaintiff prove by a preponderance of the evidence that Defendants' actions were the proximate or legal cause of damages sustained by Plaintiff?

 Yes ? No. ____

  If your answer to No. 3 is NO, skip to Question No. 6.

  4. If your answer to No. 3 is YES, did Defendant prove by a preponderance of the evidence either (a) that Defendants had legitimate administrative interests which outweighed Plaintiff's First Amendment rights, or (b) that Defendants would have reached the same decision in the absence of Plaintiff's protected conduct?

 Yes ? No. ____

  If your answer to No. 4 is YES, skip to Question No. 6. 5. If your answer to No. 4 is NO, please state the total amount of damages to which you find Plaintiff entitled based on his First Amendment Claim.

  $3,000,000.00

  B. Fourteenth Amendment Claim

  6. Did Plaintiff prove by a preponderance of the evidence that in the course of the cessation of Plaintiff's employment, certain statements against plaintiff were publicly disclosed by Defendants?

 Yes ? No ____

  If your answer to No. 6 is NO, skip to Section C at the end of this form.

  7. If your answer to No. 6 is YES, did Plaintiff prove by a preponderance of the evidence that those statements seriously damaged Plaintiff's standing and associations in his community or imposed on him a stigma or other disability?

 Yes ? No ____

  If your answer to No. 7 is NO, skip to Section C at the end of this form. 8. If your answer to No. 7 is YES, did Plaintiff prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the statements were substantially false, or that they created a false and defamatory impression?

 Yes ? No ____

  If your answer to No. 8 is NO, skip to Section C at the end of this form.

  9. If your answer to No. 8 is YES, did Plaintiff prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the public disclosure of the stigmatizing statements foreclosed his freedom to take advantage of other employment opportunities?

 Yes ? No ____

  If your answer to No. 9 is NO, skip to Section C at the end of this form.

  10. If your answer to No. 9 is YES, was Plaintiff in fact given a name-clearing hearing?

 Yes ? No ____

  If your answer to No. 10 is YES, skip to Section C at the end of this form. 11. If your answer to No. 10 is NO, do you find that Defendants' actions were the proximate or legal cause of damages sustained by Plaintiff?

 Yes ? No ____

  If your answer to No. 11 is NO, skip to Section C at the end of this form.

  12. If your answer to No. 11 is YES, please state the total amount of damages for which you find Plaintiff entitled based on his Fourteenth Amendment claim.

  $1,300,000.00

  C. Signature

  Please have the Foreperson date, sign, and return this Special Verdict Form.

20040709

© 1992-2004 VersusLaw Inc.



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