Taswell v. The Regents of the Univ. of Cal.Annotate this Case
Plaintiff Carl Taswell, M.D., who is certified in nuclear medicine, filed a complaint against the Regents of the University of California (the Regents). Taswell alleged he was retaliated against for his whistleblowing activities regarding patient safety at the brain imaging center during his employment by the University of California, Irvine. Taswell appealed after the trial court granted the Regents’ motion for summary judgment and summary adjudication. After review, the Court of Appeal reversed, finding that, following an administrative hearing, Taswell was not required to exhaust his judicial remedies (by seeking a writ of mandamus) to challenge the University’s rejection of his claims of retaliation. After exhausting his administrative remedies, Taswell was statutorily authorized to file this civil action and seek damages based on his statutory whistleblower retaliation claims; the administrative decision had no res judicata or collateral estoppel effect on this action. Also, a triable issue of material fact existed as to whether the University’s decisions to place Taswell on an investigatory leave of absence and to not renew his contract had a causal connection to Taswell’s whistleblowing activities. Therefore, summary judgment and/or summary adjudication should not have been granted on the theory that no triable issue of fact existed.