Caldera v. Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

235 Cal. Rptr. 3d 262 (2018)

From our private database of 46,100+ case briefs, written and edited by humans—never with AI.

Caldera v. Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

California Court of Appeal
235 Cal. Rptr. 3d 262 (2018)

Facts

Augustine Caldera (plaintiff) spoke with a stutter. Caldera had worked as a correctional officer at a California state prison for 20 years. In 2006, Caldera began working in the prison’s administrative-segregation unit, which housed inmates with disciplinary or mental-health issues. Sergeant James Grove, another correctional employee who worked in Caldera’s unit, began mocking Caldera’s stutter. Grove frequently repeated Caldera’s stuttered words back to him in the presence of other employees. On one occasion, Grove mocked Caldera over the prison’s radio system. On September 2, 2008, Caldera, Grove, and the prison’s chief psychologist were together in a hallway with 24 other officers during a shift change. Caldera said something to Grove, and Grove responded, “F-f-f-f-f**k you.” Caldera threatened to file a complaint against Grove, and he responded, “I don’t give a F-f-f-. . . .” The following week, Caldera filed a complaint against Grove with the prison’s Equal Employment Opportunity office. Grove continued to mimic and mock Caldera’s stutter. Caldera then sued the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (defendant) in state court, alleging claims including disability harassment. At trial, Caldera testified that the mocking was demeaning, embarrassing, harmful, and hurtful. The chief psychologist testified that he witnessed prison employees mocking Caldera’s stutter on 12 occasions and described a “culture of joking” at the prison about Caldera’s stutter. The psychologist testified that the mocking was at times mean-spirited and harmful. Another psychologist testified that Caldera had experienced psychological disorders stemming from the mocking. The jury also heard from another prison employee who witnessed Grove openly mocking Caldera’s stutter during a training program for prison supervisors. The jury found that Caldera was subjected to severe, pervasive, and unwanted harassment based on his disability and awarded him $500,000 in noneconomic damages. The department appealed to the California Court of Appeal.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Moore, P.J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 748,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.

    Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.

    Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee

Here's why 748,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 46,100 briefs, keyed to 987 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership
Here's why 748,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet
  • 46,100 briefs - keyed to 987 casebooks
  • Uniform format for every case brief
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions
  • Top-notch customer support

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership