On June 6, 2014, Devin Coyle and co-counsel Lisa Peck filed a lawsuit against the Community of Christ and Happy Valley Conference Center, Inc. in California Superior Court, Santa Cruz County.
Allegations: In April 2012, our client, a maintenance supervisor, reported to his superiors that his Executive Director, an ordained minister in the Community of Christ, was sexually harassing her younger male subordinates. In response, the Happy Valley Conference Center and the Community of Christ subjected our client to a barrage of threats, intimidation, heightened scrutiny, and – three weeks later – terminated his employment.
On February 10, 2016, after a three-week trial in Santa Cruz, the jury found in our client’s favor on every single one of his claims and voted unanimously to award punitive damages against both defendants.
Verdict: $2,007,185 Total Judgment; $895,550.00 Jury Verdict ($120,550 economic; $275,000 non-economic; $500,000 punitive) plus labor code penalties, pre-judgment interest and awards of costs and attorney’s fees (1.5x)
Appeal: In December 2019, the Sixth District Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment in a published decision, with attorney fees, costs, and interest.
Mathews v. Happy Valley Conference Center, Inc. et al. (2019) 43 Cal.App.5th 236
The case ultimately settled for $2,950,000.
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