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Stephanie Gonzalez v. Buffalo Inn

December 30, 2010

STEPHANIE GONZALEZ, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
BUFFALO INN, INC. ET AL., DEFENDANTS AND APPELLANTS.



APPEAL from the Superior Court of San Bernardino County. Martin A. Hildreth, Judge. (Retired judge of the San Bernardino Muni. Ct., West Valley Division, sitting under assignment by the Chief Justice pursuant to art. VI, § 6 of the Cal. Const.) (Super.Ct.No. RCVRS081741)

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Richli J.

Gonzalez v. Buffalo Inn

CA4/2

NOT TO BE PUBLISHED IN OFFICIAL REPORTS

California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except as specified by rule 8.1115(b). This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

OPINION

Affirmed with directions.

I

INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff Stephanie Gonzalez was employed by the Buffalo Inn restaurant. Defendants Richard Rinard, Janna Hickler, and Buffalo Inn Route 66 Corporation (collectively Buffalo) appeal from a postjudgment order, awarding plaintiff attorney's fees in the amount of $254,615.50.*fn1

Defendants appeal, arguing the attorney's fee award was an abuse of discretion. We conclude there was no abuse of discretion and affirm.

II

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

We discussed the factual background of this case in a previous appeal, (Gonzalez v. Rinard (Jan. 31, 2008, E041658) [nonpub. opn.]) (the default appeal). As described in that opinion, plaintiff was the single mother of a mixed-race child. Plaintiff began dating Forrest K. Rinard*fn2 in July 1995. Plaintiff lived with Forrest and worked at the Buffalo Inn for two years between July 1999 and July 2001. Forrest was the owner and plaintiff was the manager. Forrest drank alcohol at work and was abusive toward plaintiff in their personal life and as his employee. He made racist comments and was violent toward her child. He called her a "Nigger lover" and told her she was fired. He continued to employ her until he beat her in the face with a mop. Plaintiff moved out of their house but still managed the Buffalo Inn. In July 2001, plaintiff dated another man and Forrest fired her again. Forrest threatened and harassed plaintiff. Forrest called plaintiff a thief, an embezzler, an extortionist, a liar, crazy, and incompetent. ...


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