Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Espejo v. Lockheed Martin Operations Support, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

November 21, 2014

MICHAEL V. ESPEJO, Plaintiff,
v.
LOCKHEED MARTIN OPERATIONS SUPPORT, INC.; RICHARD T. DUNN; BRANDO LADINES; REX LADINES, Defendants

For Michael V. Espejo, Plaintiff: Don V. Huynh, Remillard & Huynh, Rechelle A.M. Barbour, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Honolulu, HI; Laurent J. Remillard, Jr., LEAD ATTORNEY, Remillard & Huynh, Honolulu, Hi.

For Lockheed Martin Operations Support, Inc., Richard T. Dunn, Defendants: Darin Robinson Leong, LEAD ATTORNEY, Marr Jones & Wang LLLP, Honolulu, HI.

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS LOCKHEED MARTIN OPERATIONS SUPPORT, INC. AND RICHARD T. DUNN'S MOTION FOR DISMISSAL SANCTION DUE TO PLAINTIFF'S INTENTIONAL SPOILATION OF EVIDENCE (ECF No. 63)

Helen Gillmor, United States District Judge.

Plaintiff brought suit in Circuit Court of the First Circuit, State of Hawaii against his former employers Lockheed Martin Operations Support, Inc. and Lockheed Martin Corporation, his supervisors, and other employees. Plaintiff claims that he was subject to retaliation and wrongful termination, after he informed a supervisor that certain employees were illegally gambling at the work site. Plaintiff alleges claims for violation of the Hawaii Whistleblowers' Protection Act and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Defendants Lockheed Martin Operations Support, Inc. and Lockheed Martin Corporation removed the action to Federal Court, asserting that Plaintiff's claims arise under federal law. Lockheed Martin Corporation and four employee defendants were subsequently dismissed from the action.

Plaintiff moved to remand the action to Hawaii State Court. On May 30, 2014, the Court entered an order denying Plaintiff's Motion for Remand. (ECF No. 47.)

Defendants Lockheed Martin Support, Inc. and Richard T. Dunn now move to dismiss the instant lawsuit, with prejudice, and for an award of reasonable attorneys' fees and costs to Defendants as a sanction for Plaintiff's intentional spoilation of evidence. (ECF No. 63.)

Defendants Lockheed Martin Support, Inc. and Richard T. Dunn's Motion for Dismissal Sanction (ECF No. 63) is GRANTED.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On December 5, 2013, Plaintiff Michael V. Espejo filed a Complaint in the Circuit Court of the First Circuit of the State of Hawaii against Lockheed Martin Operations Support, Inc.; Lockheed Martin Corporation; Richard Dunn; Timothy Ahern; Jo Ann Viloria; Brando Ladines; Rex Ladines; Ralph Kirk; and Jean J. Copp.

On December 27, 2013, Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint in the Circuit Court of the First Circuit of the State of Hawaii.

On January 31, 2014, Plaintiff filed a Second Amended Complaint in the Circuit Court of the First Circuit of the State of Hawaii. (Notice of Removal Ex. A, ECF No. 1.)

On February 26, 2014, Defendants Lockheed Martin Operations Support, Inc. and Lockheed Martin Corporation removed the action to the Hawaii Federal District Court. (ECF No. 1.)

On March 24, 2014, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Remand to State Court. (ECF No. 18.)

On April 4, 2014, a Stipulation and Order was filed dismissing, without prejudice, Plaintiff's claims alleged in the Second Amended Complaint against Lockheed Martin Corporation; Timothy Ahern; Jo Ann Viloria; Ralph Kirk; and Jean J. Copp.

The Stipulation and Order also dismissed, without prejudice, certain claims alleged against the four remaining Defendants, Lockheed Martin Operations Support, Inc., Richard Dunn, Brando Ladines, and Rex Ladines, as follows:

Count I (Retaliation and Discrimination in Violation of Hawaii's Whistleblower Protection Act, Haw. Rev. Stat. § 378-62): dismissed without prejudice as to Richard Dunn, Brando Ladines, and Rex Ladines;
Count II (Tortious Interference with Employment and Economic Opportunities): dismissed without prejudice as to all remaining Defendants;
Count III (Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress): dismissed without prejudice as to Defendant Lockheed Martin Operations Support, Inc.;
Count IV (Negligent and/or Reckless Retention and/or Hiring and/or Supervision): dismissed without prejudice as to all remaining Defendants; and
Count V (Ratification, Additional Conduct, and Punitive Damages): The claims for Ratification and " Additional Conduct" were dismissed without prejudice as to all remaining Defendants.[1] Plaintiff reserved the right to seek punitive damages.

The following claims remain:

Count I: Violation of the Hawaii Whistleblowers' Protection Act, Haw. Rev. Stat. § 378-62, alleged against Lockheed Martin Operations Support, Inc; and
Count III: Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, alleged against Defendants Richard Dunn, Brando Ladines, and Rex Ladines.

(ECF No. 31.)

On April 7, 2014, Defendant Lockheed Martin Operations Support, Inc. filed an Opposition to the Motion for Remand. (ECF No. 33.)

On April 14, 2014, Plaintiff filed a Reply. (ECF No. 40.)

On May 16, 2014, the Court held a hearing on the Motion for Remand.

On May 30, 2014, the Court entered an order denying Plaintiff's Motion for Remand. (ECF No. 47.)

On August 28, 2014, Defendants Lockheed Martin Operations support, Inc. and Richard T. Dunn filed MOTION FOR DISMISSAL SANCTION DUE TO PLAINTIFF'S INTENTIONAL SPOILATION OF EVIDENCE. (ECF No. 63.)

On September 12, 2014, Plaintiff filed an Opposition to Defendants' Motion. (ECF No. 65.)

On October 9, 2014, Plaintiff filed a Supplemental Opposition. (ECF No. 70.)

On October 23, 2014, Defendants filed a Reply. (ECF No. 74.)

On November 10, 2014, this matter came on for hearing.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Michael V. Espejo's suit arises from allegedly retaliatory acts that occurred during his employment with Lockheed Martin Operations Support, Inc. (" Lockheed Martin Operations"), a federal military contractor. Plaintiff worked for Lockheed Martin Operations at Pearl Harbor as a Senior Tech IV. (2d Am. Compl. at ¶ 25, ECF No. 1.)

Plaintiff's employment with Lockheed Martin Operations was governed by a Collective Bargaining Agreement between Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Solutions and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, AFL-CIO. (Decl. of Jean J. Copp at ¶ 3, Collective Bargaining Agreement attached as Ex. A, ECF No. 33.)

Plaintiff's Reporting of the Alleged Misconduct

Plaintiff alleges that, between July and September 2012, certain Lockheed Martin Operations employees were engaged in illegal gambling activity and misrepresenting their time worked. The gambling was allegedly carried out through the Navy Marine Corp Intranet (" NMCI") network, the computer network used by the Navy and Marine Corps. Plaintiff believed that the activity posed a security threat to the NMCI network and Navy/Marine Corps database. (2d Am. Compl. at ¶ 27.)

Plaintiff claims that he anonymously reported the misconduct to Lockheed Martin Operations's ethics hotline, but the misconduct continued. (2d Am. Compl. at ¶ 27.)

On December 17, 2012, Plaintiff alleges that he reported the misconduct to Supervisor Timothy Ahern. According to Plaintiff, he requested that his identity be kept confidential to avoid retaliation. He states that Supervisor Ahern assured him that his identity would not be revealed, and requested that Plaintiff report the misconduct to Lockheed Martin Operations's Human Resources Agent Teresa Alarcio. (2d Am. Compl. at ¶ ¶ 28-30.)

On the following day, Plaintiff claims he reported the alleged misconduct to Human Resources Agent Alarcio. Plaintiff states that he again requested, and was assured, that his identity would remain confidential. (2d Am. Compl. at ¶ 31.)

Alleged Disclosure of Plaintiff's Identity as a Whistleblower

According to the Complaint, on December 19, 2012, the day after Plaintiff made the report to the Human Resources Agent, Plaintiff began to suffer retaliation from other employees. Plaintiff alleges that Supervisor Ahern disclosed Plaintiff's identity to Defendant Richard Dunn, Plaintiff's direct supervisor. He states that Defendant Dunn disclosed Plaintiff's identity to other employees. (2d. Am. Compl. at ¶ 34.)

Alleged Retaliation

Plaintiff alleges that, as a result of the disclosure of his identity, he was subjected to various forms of retaliation for approximately eight months, resulting ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.