Case Number: BC705095    Hearing Date: February 18, 2020    Dept: 73

2/18/20

Dept. 73

Rafael Ongkeko, Judge presiding

JOSEPH SHEPLER VS BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY (BC705095)

Counsel for Plaintiff/opposing party:  Rosen, etc. (Ryan Saba; Tyler Vanderpool); Collier, etc. (Dustin Collier; V. Joshua Socks)

Counsel for Defendant/moving party:  Evans, etc. (Elizabeth McNulty; Christine Reynoldls)

MOTION TO STRIKE PUNITIVE DAMAGES ALLEGATIONS FROM THE SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT (filed 10/18/19)

TENTATIVE RULING

Defendant Board of Trustees of the California State University’s motion to strike punitive damage allegations from Plaintiff Joseph Shepler’s Second Amended Complaint is GRANTED.  Gov. Code §818Visalia Unified School Dist. v. Sup.Ct. (2019) 43 Cal.App.5th 563 (remittitur expected to issue 2/18/20, construing Education Code § 44114(c)).  Even assuming, arguendo, that “person” or “him or her” in the section applies to the Trustees, Gov. Code § 8547.8(c) has nearly identical language to that construed by the court in Visalia.  In light of the unavailability of punitive damages against the Trustees, the court need not rule on the sufficiency of the factual allegations for punitive damages.

Defendant raised the Visalia case in its reply.  If Plaintiff requests additional time to brief the issue in Visalia or obtain a full and complete legislative history of the cited whistleblowing statutes, the parties may address that issue at the hearing.

Unless waived, notice of ruling by moving party.