Lawrence A. Bohm; Bohm Law Group; Sacramento, CA, for Daniel Webb
Gregory R. Davenport; Law Offices of Gregory R. Davenport; Stockton, CA, for Daniel Webb
Erika M. Gaspar; Law Office Of Erika M. Gaspar; Sacramento, CA, for Daniel Webb
Jan Null; ; Meteorology/Climatology; Fremont, CA called by Lawrence A. Bohm, Gregory R. Davenport, Erika M. Gaspar
John Cargile; ; Trucks; Grass Valley, CA called by Lawrence A. Bohm, Gregory R. Davenport, Erika M. Gaspar
Charles Mahla; Ph.D.; Economics; Los Angeles, CA called by Lawrence A. Bohm, Gregory R. Davenport, Erika M. Gaspar
Ramos Oil Co.
Kimberly A. Worley; Holden LawGroup; Sacramento, CA, for Ramos Oil Co.
Edward Brooks; Holden LawGroup; Sacramento, CA, for Ramos Oil Co. , 7
Paul Herbert; Trucking Industry; Quincy, CA called by Kimberly A. Worley, J. Edward Brooks
Craig Enos; Economics; Sacramento, CA called by Kimberly A. Worley, J. Edward Brooks
On Jan. 7, 2008 plaintiff Daniel Webb, 46, was terminated from his position as a gasoline delivery truck driver with Ramos Oil Co., a West Sacramento-based company, on the grounds that he had refused to report to work on Jan. 4, 2008.
Webb sued Ramos Oil, alleging wrongful termination and Labor Code violations.
Webb claimed that on the morning of Jan. 4, he drove his route for eight hours despite severe weather conditions, including 60 to 70 mph winds, heavy rain and flooding, and numerous road closures and downed power lines, including one that struck the driver’s side mirror of his truck. He alleged that one customer refused delivery, claiming it was too dangerous to unload the fuel, and that police were advising commercial vehicles to avoid travel. He also alleged that he made repeated requests to return to the yard, which were denied, so he clocked out after completing the route. Webb claimed that he was then contacted by his supervisor three hours later, requesting that he return to work. He claimed that when he refused, citing the continuing weather conditions and the fact that he had drunk a number of beers since leaving work, he was terminated. Thus, Webb’s counsel argued that the request to return to work was unreasonable under the circumstances and a violation of the Labor Code, and that Webb’s termination was wrongful.
Ramos Oil claimed that Webb’s termination was not wrongful or a Violation of the Labor Code, and that it was, in fact, reasonable and legal. Defense counsel contended that Webb’s complaints about the weather conditions were unreasonable. Counsel argued that the weather conditions on the day in question were not excessively dangerous, that Webb lied about the power line incident, that Webb failed to complete his deliveries, and that he failed to disclose that he had been drinking. Plaintiffs counsel responded that Ramos Oil failed provide evidence of what deliveries Webb allegedly failed to make, and that Webb’s claim about drinking after he clocked out was recorded in company documents and testified to by the dispatcher who contacted him.
Webb claimed he was wrongfully terminated from his job of 13 years in violation of the state Labor Code. Thus, he sought recovery of an unspecified amount of damages for his past and future loss of income and mental anguish, plus recovery of punitive damages.
The jury found that Ramos Oil wrongfully terminated Webb in Violation of the Labor Code, and awarded him $6,241,655. Webb was later awarded $532,770 in prejudgment interest.
$3,577,803 Personal Injury: Punitive Exemplary Damages
$58,102 Personal Injury: Past Lost Earnings Capability
1 05 ,840 Personal Injury: Future Lost Eamings Capability
$1,000,000 Wrongful Death: Past Mental Anguish
$1,500,000 Wrongful Death: Future Mental Anguish
Actual Award: $6774425
Judge: Daniel P. Maguire
This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiffs counsel. Defense counsel declined to contribute.