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McMahon’s RV Loses Age Discrimination Suit

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February 9, 2011 by   1 Comment

Editor’s Note: The following news release comes from John A. Belcher, principal of the law offices of John A. Belcher, who recently received a favorable verdict in the Orange County Superior Court in Santa Ana, Calif.

McMahon’s RV, an Irvine-based retailer of recreational vehicles, was hit with an age-discrimination verdict by an Orange County jury on Feb. 4.

The jury found that Robert Liemandt, a former employee of McMahon’s RV, was terminated in violation of public policy, and that age was a motivating factor in the termination. The total award against McMahon’s RV was over $300,000.

The jury also found that the conduct of McMahon’s RV toward Liemandt constituted oppression, fraud or malice, justifying punitive damages in the amount of $50,000.

Testimony in the case included a former employee who quoted Brent McMahon, the president of the company, as saying, “(Robert Liemandt) has had a heart attack, he’s a liability, we need to get rid of this guy.”

Another former employee quoted senior management at McMahon’s RV as saying, “We need to get rid of that old f***er.”

Before the trial, McMahon’s RV had advanced the defense that Liemandt was not entitled to any recovery because he had failed to follow “internal grievance procedures.” At trial, however, Brent McMahon admitted that at the time of the termination, there had been no “internal grievance procedures” in place. McMahon claimed that he had not read the verified discovery responses containing the defense.

In addition to finding against McMahon’s RV on the violation of public policy and age discrimination counts, the jury also found that McMahon’s RV had improperly withheld a commission due and payable to Liemandt, and that the failure to pay  Liemandt his commission justified waiting time penalties under the labor code.

The findings of age discrimination, violation of public policy and denial of commission were unanimous verdicts by a 12-0 jury vote.

The case was tried before Judge Ronald Bauer.

Belcher commented that he was delighted with the verdict.

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Comments

One Response to “McMahon’s RV Loses Age Discrimination Suit”

  1. Adam K. Obeid, Esq. on February 9th, 2011 8:52 pm

    McMahon’s RV is the proud employer of 200 men and women throughout California and Arizona. Seventy (70%) percent of our staff is over the age of fifty, and, ten percent (10%) of our staff is over the age of sixty. At no time has McMahon’s RV discriminated against any of its employees on the basis of age. It is unfortunate, however, that the jury was never able to hear and evaluate these statistics. The fact of the matter is that Mr. Liemandt was terminated for insubordination and poor performance, which stemmed primarily from the fact that he told his supervisor to f**k-off.

    Despite Mr. Belcher’s delight with the jury’s verdict, a final judgment has yet to be entered by the court, and McMahon’s RV is preparing to bring a host of post-trial motions, including a motion for a new trial. Furthermore, McMahon’s RV intends to exhaust all avenues on appeal.

    For further information or comment, contact Adam K. Obeid, Esq., in-house legal counsel for McMahon’s RV at: adam@megarv.com

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