Thursday, July 2, 2015

SJ Affirmed, but Likely No Costs

Roman v. BRE Properties, No. B246841 (D2d7 Jun. 17, 2015)

It’s probably not too surprising that in order to bring a claim for disability discrimination, Plaintiff needs to establish that he is disabled within the meaning of the statute. When, in this case, Defendant served discovery asking for evidence of Plaintiffs’ disability, Plaintiff didn’t respond. That nonresponse was sufficient to meet Defendant’s burden when moving for summary judgment. And then when Plaintiff’s opposition offered nothing but his wife’s conclusory statement that she had previously told Defendant he “was disabled,” that wasn’t enough to create a disputed fact issue. So SJ was properly granted.

But the trial court erroneously awarded costs to defendants because it didn’t apply the heightened Christiansburg standard that the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Williams held applies to cost awards in FEHA cases. So the award was reversed and remanded for the trial court to decide whether the Christiansburg standard was met, and if not, what costs could be allocated entirely to claims other than those brought under the FEHA, for which costs could be awarded under the ordinary prevailing party standard under Code of Civil Procedure § 1032.

Reversed and remanded in part.

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