ok so there was a gushy send off to a long-time News-Press photographer...Steve Malone ..Scott Steepleton ran the story on the front page and heaped praise on Malone, even calling him a legend, because Malone was a Reagan fan.. took lots of pics of Ron and Wendy loves Ronald and gives money to the Young Miss America Foundation who lives and breathes Ronald Reagan....pretty spooky stuff
now why did the News-Press go overboard with praise for Malone?? maybe because another ex-News-Press photographer, Mike Eliason who Wendy fired and hates got a big court victory...
in a tentative ruling, Judge Donna Geck over-ruled Wendy's and Don's demurrer (legal objections to) and denied Wendy's motion to strike (like a snake)...so the point is there is a case that Wendy and Don went out of their way to tell other businesses not to hire Eliason after he ratted on them to CAL-OSHA about mold in the News-Press buidling, like the SB Police Station!!
Nature of Proceedings: Demurrer and Motion to Strike First Amended Complaint
Plaintiff John Eliason is a former staff photographer for defendant Santa Barbara News Press. The News Press is a wholly owned subsidiary of defendant Ampersand Publishing LLC. Defendant Wendy McCaw is the owner and CEO of Ampersand Publishing and the News-Press. Defendant Don Katich is the News-Press’s director of operations. In March 2014, plaintiff complained to Cal-OSHA that the News-Press building contained a significant mold problem that was a health risk to him and other employees. Two weeks later, plaintiff was terminated. After plaintiff was terminated, McCaw and Katich allegedly told several businesses in the Santa Barbara area that plaintiff had been fired and not to hire him. On June 12, 2015, plaintiff filed a first amended complaint, alleging causes of action against defendants for (1) violation of Labor Code Section 1102.5, (2) violation of Labor Code Section 6310, (3) wrongful termination in violation of public policy, (4) intentional interference with prospective economic advantage, and (5) negligent interference with prospective economic advantage.
McCaw and Katich seek an order striking all references to punitive damages in paragraph 74 of the intentional interference cause of action and paragraph 6 of the prayer on the ground that plaintiff has failed to allege any facts that would entitle him to such damages. The court disagrees and will deny the motion to strike. Punitive damages may be awarded against a defendant where the defendant has been guilty of "malice." Civ. Code §3294, subd. (a). "Malice" means conduct which is intended by the defendant to cause injury to the plaintiff or despicable conduct which is carried on by the defendant with a willful and conscious disregard of the [plaintiff’s] rights . . . ." Civil Code §3294, subd. (c)(1). Here, plaintiff has alleged that defendants’ actions in contacting businesses in the community were done to retaliate against him for filing a complaint with Cal-OSHA, and to cause him economic harm. (FAC, ¶¶ 45, 46, 48.) Specifically, plaintiff alleges that defendants sought "to exert pressure to dissuade [the] business[es] from considering Plaintiff for employment." (FAC, ¶47.) Such actions, if true, go beyond the normal personnel decisions of an employer and are sufficient to support a claim of malice ("a willful and conscious disregard of the rights [of plaintiff]"). Because malice is alleged, punitive damages may be recoverable.
Defendants argue that plaintiff has failed to allege facts sufficient to support a claim for punitive damages against Ampersand Publishing and the News-Press, both corporate defendants, but the motion to strike was only brought on behalf of McCaw and Katich. (Motion, pp. 1, 3.) Even if the motion were brought on behalf of all defendants, however, in paragraphs 4 and 5 plaintiff alleges that McCaw is the owner and CEO of Ampersand Publishing and the News-Press and that Katich is the managing agent of Ampersand Publishing. McCaw and Katich, therefore, qualify as "an officer, director, or managing agent of the corporation" under Civil Code Section 3294, subdivision (b), and their authorization of the alleged retaliatory measures makes Ampersand Publishing and the News-Press potentially liable for punitive damages.
Defendants’ demurrer to the fourth and fifth causes of action of the FAC for intentional interference with prospective economic advantage and negligent interference with prospective economic advantage is overruled. The motion to strike of defendants Wendy McCaw and Don Katich is denied.
so Wendy's act of vengeance against Eliason will come back to haunt her..like an old photograph