CNS – Lawyers for a Los Angeles firefighter who filed a discrimination lawsuit against the city, claiming he was fed dog food by his colleagues, cannot support their contention that he was the victim of retaliation, a judge has ruled.
Tennie Pierce sued the city, claiming his colleagues fed him the dog food as a prank at a Westchester fire house in 2004, and that nothing was done when he brought the hazing to the attention of superiors.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa vetoed a $2.7 million settlement offered by the City Council last November after photos surfaced of Pierce participating in hazing activities.
Pierce's attorney, Genie Harrison, claims her client has suffered additional harassment from city employees after Villaraigosa vetoed the settlement offer. She added a claim of retaliation to the original allegations of racial harassment, and both intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, filed in November 2005.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mark V. Mooney ruled today that the facts Harrison cited to demonstrate retaliation were insufficient. He gave her 20 days to add the information and bring back an amended complaint.
"This happens all the time," Harrison said outside the courtroom, downplaying the significance of the ruling.
Attorneys for the city have submitted documents to Mooney that will make yet another argument in favor of dismissing the retaliation claim if Harrison brings it back as expected.
The trial is scheduled for Sept. 24.