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Kaiser Foundation Hospitals v. Jeff Wilson

December 5, 2011

KAISER FOUNDATION HOSPITALS, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
JEFF WILSON, DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



CONSOLIDATED APPEALS from orders of the Superior Court of San Diego County, Richard S. Whitney, Judge. Affirmed. (Super. Ct. Nos. 37-2010-00095475-CU-HR-CTL & 37-2010-00095476-CU-HR-CTL)

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Aaron, J.

CERTIFIED FOR PUBLICATION

I.

INTRODUCTION

Defendant Jeff Wilson appeals from orders of the trial court enjoining him from committing further acts of violence or making threats of violence against two employees of plaintiff, Kaiser Foundation Hospitals (Kaiser).

On appeal, Wilson contends that the trial court improperly considered hearsay evidence in deciding to issue a restraining order against him pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure*fn1 section 527.8, a provision that permits employers to seek injunctions preventing workplace violence against their employees. Wilson contends that the hearsay evidence was inadmissible. He further argues that the only admissible, non-hearsay evidence that Kaiser presented in support of its request for two workplace violence injunctions was insufficient to support the court's determination that there existed a credible threat of violence, such that the injunctions should issue.

We conclude that the trial court did not err in considering hearsay evidence in determining that Wilson made a credible threat of violence and that great harm might result to an employee of Kaiser, such that it was proper to issue an injunction prohibiting Wilson from further unlawful violence or threats of violence. We therefore affirm the orders of the trial court.

II.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Wilson is married to Diane Younge-Barnes, a former employee of Kaiser. On April 7, 2010, Younge-Barnes's employment with Kaiser was terminated.

On July 2, 2010, Kaiser filed two petitions seeking injunctions prohibiting Wilson from committing acts of violence or making threats of violence against two of its employees, Arlene Gibson and Marites Arendon, pursuant to section 527.8.*fn2

Kaiser submitted Arendon's declaration in support of its application for a temporary restraining order as to Arendon. In her declaration, Arendon recounted an incident that occurred on May 25, 2010, in which Younge-Barnes and Wilson came to the Kaiser facility to visit Younge-Barnes's adult daughter, who had just given birth. After someone told Younge-Barnes that she could not be in the nurse's area, Wilson began yelling at another employee, Diane Doyle, telling her that he was " 'going to put [her] and Marites down.' " Arendon also stated that on May 28, 2010, Wilson and Younge-Barnes again were present at the Kaiser facility, and that Younge-Barnes again had to be told not to be in the nurse's area. In response, Wilson said that he was " 'going to flip his lid' " and " 'do something that he would regret.' " Arendon further stated that on June 26, 2010, Wilson was detained by police after making threats that he was going to " 'kill someone.' " The following day, Younge-Barnes told a therapist that Wilson had been making threats that he was going to shoot Gibson. Although Arendon asserted that she had "personal knowledge" of the facts to which she attested, it is not clear whether she witnessed any or all of these incidents, or, if not, how she obtained her knowledge of these incidents.

Kaiser submitted Gibson's declaration in support of its application for a temporary restraining order as to Gibson. In that declaration, which was substantially similar to Arendon's declaration, Gibson recounted an incident that occurred on May 25, 2010, in which Younge-Barnes and Wilson came to the Kaiser facility to visit Younge-Barnes's adult daughter who had just given birth. After someone told Younge-Barnes that she could not be in the nurse's area, Wilson began yelling at another employee, Diane Doyle, telling her that he was " 'going to put [her] and Marites down.' " Gibson also stated that on May 28, 2010, Wilson and Younge-Barnes again were at the Kaiser facility, and that Younge-Barnes again had to be told not to be in the nurse's area. In response, Wilson said that he was " 'going to flip his lid' " and " 'do something that he would regret.' " Gibson also recounted that on June 26, 2010, Wilson was detained by police after making threats that he was going to "kill someone," and that the next day, Younge-Barnes told a therapist that Wilson had been making threats that he was going to shoot Gibson. Although Gibson, like Arendon, asserted that she had "personal knowledge" of the facts to which she was attesting, it is not clear whether she was present at any or all of these incidents, or, if not, how she obtained her knowledge of these incidents.

At the hearing for the permanent injunction pursuant to section 527.8, subdivision (f), Arendon testified that on April 7, 2010, the day Younge-Barnes's employment with Kaiser was terminated, Arendon, who was the manager on duty at the time, received a telephone call from Wilson. Arendon testified that Wilson was irate, and that he said to Arendon, " 'If something happened to my wife who just stepped out of the hospital right now, you are going to pay for this.' " Arendon attempted to ...


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