2/8 DCA Adopts Reasoning of 2/7 DCA In Roman Decision On Costs Apportionment.
Metoyer v. L.A. Unified School Dist., Case No. B259458 (2d Dist., Div. 8 Sept. 22, 2016) (unpublished) is a situation where plaintiff brought both FEHA and non-FEHA claims, but was defensed after a jury verdict finding lack of causation—namely, that District’s conduct was not a substantial motivating factor in decisions which were made. However, the lower court did grant District routine costs of $7,660.19.
Although plaintiff lost the merits appeal, the costs award was remanded for further consideration.
The reason was the California Supreme Court’s decision in Williams v. Chino Valley Independent Fire Dist., 61 Cal.4th 97 (2015), which mandated a different analysis on FEHA costs recovery against a losing plaintiff. However, the real issue devolved into what happens to costs recovery where there were both FEHA and non-FEHA claims which a plaintiff loses. In this regard, the 2/8 DCA in Metoyer followed the 2/7 DCA’s analysis of the issue in Roman v. BRE Properties, Inc., 237 Cal.App.4th 1040, 1059-1060, 1062 (2015) [discussed in our June 27, 2015 post], which essentially decided that post-Williams costs issues depended on how interrelated FEHA and non-FEHA claims were to each other. If inextricably intertwined, then maybe no costs award against the losing FEHA plaintiff is in order; however, if the non-FEHA claims were solely allocable, then some apportioned costs were in order. So, the costs award was remanded to relook at in light of the 2/7 DCA’s Roman analysis.