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Lawsuits

Discrimination Case Brought by BHPD Employee Dismissed

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BEVERLY HILLS – A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Beverly Hills Police Department employee Lisa Weller. The ruling indicates that there is not sufficient evidence for the case to move forward.

Weller alleged she was demoted from Traffic Control Supervisor to the position of Traffic Control Officer because of her age and sexual orientation.

In ruling on the City’s Motion for Summary Judgment, the Court found “There is no evidence the plaintiff was replaced in the position of Traffic Control Supervisor by a significantly younger person.  The undisputed evidence shows that City of Beverly Hills restructured its traffic and parking departments, and then placed sworn peace officers as supervisors of Traffic Control Officers.”   

Additionally, the Court determined that “plaintiff did not meet her burden to show that there was such a denial [of pay and benefits], let alone that any such denial was due to the plaintiff’s age or sexual orientation.”

“We are pleased with the ruling by Judge Martin,” said City Attorney Laurence S. Wiener.  “The City of Beverly Hills believed the case was without merit and remains committed to a respectful work environment free from harassment, retaliation and discrimination.”

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Lawsuits

Bev Hills Police Chief to Retire Amid Discrimination Lawsuits

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Bev Hills Police Chief to Retire Amid Discrimination Lawsuits

BEVERLY HILLS — Beverly Hills City Manager George Chavez announced that Police Chief Sandra Spagnoli will retire from the department, effective May 15, 2020.

NBC LA cites “several law enforcement and other sources” as saying that Spagnoli was notified “she had until Friday, April 24, to resign or face possible termination.”

Spagnoli joined BHPD in February of 2016 from the City of San Leandro in Northern California where she served as Chief since 2011.  She has been accused in multiple lawsuits of using slurs and making remarks about Jews, employees who were LGBTQ and people of color. NBCLA reports on allegations of promoting mostly white men and having sexual contact with employees.

“During the Chief’s tenure, crime was reduced while the department increased diversity, public outreach, best practices and advancements in technology,” said Chavez.  “We thank Chief Spagnoli for her service to our community and her three decades of public service in law enforcement.”

“I am grateful to have served Beverly Hills and proud of the accomplishments over the past 4 years to keep this world-class community one of the safest in the nation,” said Chief Spagnoli.

Chavez is expected to name an Interim Police Chief in the coming weeks. 

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Lawsuits

Target Sued, Man Claims Hand Sanitizer Won’t Kill Coronavirus

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LOS ANGELES (TMZ) — Target has a target on its back, legally speaking … the retail giant is being sued over the effectiveness — or lack thereof — of its store-brand hand sanitizer to combat coronavirus.

A man named Mardig Taslakian from Los Angeles filed a class-action lawsuit against Target and its super popular store brand, Up&Up, claiming the company deceptively markets its hand sanitizer “to eliminate 99.99% of germs” when there’s no proof to back that claim.

According to new legal docs, obtained by TMZ, Taslakian has beef with Target marketing its Up&Up-brand hand sanitizer as comparable to Purell … which is dealing with its own lawsuit over allegedly misleading claims.

Taslakian claims the same January 17, 2020 warning letter the FDA sent to Purell — that there’s no scientific data to support its germ-killing effectiveness — should also apply to Target.

According to docs, Taslakian says that “by comparing its less expensive in-house private label product” to Purell’s more expensive hand sanitizer … Target misleads customers into thinking its hand sanitizer is as effective as Purell’s “and can therefore prevent disease or infection from, for example, Coronavirus and flu, along with other claims that go beyond the general intended use of a topical alcohol-based hand sanitizer.”

Although, Taslakian is accusing Target of insinuating its sanitizer combats coronavirus … the product never makes such a claim.

Taslakian want damages, including punitives, and an order stopping Target from making the claims on the bottles. We’ve reached out to Target, so far no word back.

Tune in to TMZ on TV weekdays Monday through Friday (check syndicated/local listings)

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Business

Starbucks Sued for Refusing to Redeem Gift Card for Cash in WeHo

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WEST HOLLYWOOD (Patch.com) — The Starbucks Corp. is being sued by a customer who alleges the coffee shop chain in 2019 wrongfully denied him a $1.70 cash redemption for the balance on his gift card at one of its West Hollywood stores, maintaining the company was obligated to do so by law.

Robert Paskey’s Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages as well as a court order that Starbucks provide cash redemptions for gift cards having a balance of less than $10.

A Starbucks representative did not immediately reply to a request for comment on the suit filed Thursday.

Paskey went to the location in the 8900 block of Santa Monica Boulevard on Dec. 26 and a clerk there denied him his request for the $1.70 cash redemption on his gift card, telling […]

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