Procedural Posture

Appellant head nurse challenged the judgment of the Superior Court of San Diego County (California), that granted appellee hospital’s motion for directed verdict in appellant’s action that sought damages for wrongful discharge.

California Business Lawyer & Corporate Lawyer, Inc. is a California Incorporation Attorney

Overview

Plaintiff head nurse was employed as a full time permanent employee of defendant hospital. Plaintiff was terminated from her position with defendant and she initiated an action that sought damages for wrongful discharge as she asserted that defendant terminated her without cause. The lower court granted defendant’s motion for a directed verdict and entered a judgment in favor of defendant. Plaintiff sought review of the decision. The court reversed the decision because there was sufficient evidence that defendant did not have cause to terminate plaintiff and, therefore, an evidentiary fact existed that had to be determined by the jury rather than the lower court. The court found sufficient evidence that defendant could only terminate plaintiff for good cause.

Outcome

The court reversed the judgment of the lower court that granted defendant hospital’s motion for a directed verdict because defendant could only terminate plaintiff head nurse for cause and there was sufficient evidence that defendant lacked cause to terminate plaintiff. The court held that this evidentiary fact was a question for the jury.