A Los Angeles Superior Court judge has set aside a jury verdict that awarded damages to former Beverly Hills Police Lt. Shan Davis. The ruling comes after the City of Beverly Hills filed a motion in response to a July jury trial in the case of Moreno, et al v. City of Beverly Hills. That case involved four City employees who worked at the Beverly Hills Police Department. They alleged, among other things, claims for discrimination, harassment and retaliation.
The case was tried before a jury in July 2019. The jury returned a verdict in excess of $1 million, including $250,000 awarded to Davis. Subsequently, the City filed a motion known as a Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict as to the harassment verdicts in favor of Davis as well as plaintiff Dona
Norris. In a ruling filed Oct. 11, the Hon. Elizabeth R. Feffer denied the City’s motion as to Norris. The court found “the jury was presented with substantial evidence to support both Dona Norris’ asserted bases for harassment, based on Dona Norris’ sexual orientation and religious beliefs.” Feffer granted the City’s motion as to Davis, however. Her ruling observes, “there is no substantial evidence presented to support the jury’s verdict in favor of Shan Davis on his harassment cause of action.”
The judge ordered the verdict for Davis be set aside, the judgment vacated and judgment entered in favor of the City. “This rarely granted motion is certainly a victory for the City and the Chief,” said City Attorney Laurence Wiener. Calls to plaintiffs’ attorneys were not returned at press time.