Cohn v. Corinthian Colleges, Inc.

86 Cal. Rptr. 3d 401 (2008)

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Cohn v. Corinthian Colleges, Inc.

California Court of Appeal
86 Cal. Rptr. 3d 401 (2008)

Facts

In 2005, the Angels Baseball LP (club) (defendant) sought to celebrate Mother’s Day by giving a bag to all mothers in attendance at that day’s game. Corinthian Colleges, Inc. (Corinthian) (defendant) sponsored this promotion. Rather than trying to determine whether individual attendees were mothers, the club gave bags to all female attendees over 18. Michael Cohn, a male, attended the game with two male friends and unsuccessfully requested bags. Soon thereafter, Cohn’s counsel complained to the club, which responded by sending bags for Cohn, his friends, and the lawyer. No other fans complained about the promotion. Nevertheless, Cohn sued the club and Corinthian, alleging that the promotion violated California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act by discriminating against him as a male. Cohn argued that the promotion (1) caused anger and other bad feelings among men, (2) constituted an improper price discount for women, and (3) would authorize discrimination based on ethnicity. Cohn further argued that he was entitled to attorney’s fees as the prevailing party because the club gave gifts to all Mother’s Day attendees, not just women, the next year. This suit was one of several that Cohn, his friends, and his counsel have brought against the club that at least one court described as “shake down” actions. With respect to Corinthian, Cohn’s supplied evidence only that Corinthian sponsored the promotion. The district court granted summary judgment to the club and Corinthian. Cohn appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (O’Leary, J.)

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