Los Angeles, CA, January 30, 2012 --(PR.com
)-- Civil Rights attorney, Julie Mehrban (counsel for plaintiff, Alexander Johnson) obtains a significant verdict in a lawsuit brought by Johnson against Carl Karcher Enterprises, Inc. It was a sweeping victory against the fast-food giant.
The lawsuit, filed in March of 2011 alleged that Johnson, who is hearing-impaired and uses a service dog, was not permitted to eat inside a Hawthorne Carl’s Jr. restaurant due to the presence of his service dog (“Snoopy”). This violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 was vehemently contested by defense attorneys to the bitter end.
The 7-day jury trial ended with a near unanimous verdict in favor of Plaintiff, Johnson, and against Carl Karcher Enterprises, Inc. Mehrban had successfully fought her way to prevailing on both counts: damages and injunctive relief. Mehrban succeeded in obtaining statutory damages in favor of Johnson under California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act, in addition to a court order requiring Carl Karcher Enterprises, Inc. to modify its corporate policy to include provisions permitting service animals in all Carl’s Jr. California restaurants.
“We deserved to win, because our allegations were the truth,” said Mehrban, who says she was unsure about the outcome. “This is a huge win and represents a civil rights victory not only for Mr. Johnson, but for the disabled community throughout California,” continued Mehrban. She also said that “it was not an easy win, being up against an aggressive defense team.” The Carl Karcher Enterprises defense team included Scott Ferrel and David Reid of Newport Trial Group, who were purportedly on a 24-trial winning streak until encountering Mehrban.
Spectators of the trial noted Julie Mehrban’s calm, yet assertive cross examinations that were said to “destroy” all three defense witnesses, according to one observer, Mark Rosolowski. Others were swayed by her thorough closing argument, which left no stone unturned as she shot down virtually every element of the defense theory.
Julie Mehrban underwent extensive training in the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Trial Advocacy Project in 2010 and 2011, where she and 11 others were trained by some of the L.A. City Attorney’s Office’s top trial prosecutors. Mehrban is said to be scheduled as a volunteer prosecutor in February of 2012 and will undertake several criminal jury trials. This is sure to sharpen her teeth for the next time a corporate giant discriminates against one of her clients.
Julie Mehrban is a second-year Associate Attorney at the Law Offices of Morse Mehrban, A.P.C. in Sherman Oaks, California.