This week the University of California issued checks totaling nearly $1.7 million to settle claims brought by Janet Keyzer in her whistleblower retaliation case against UC Davis. This brings to a close her seven-year battle for justice. Ms. Keyzer was terminated in 2007 after exposing human subject research being conducted without requisite legal compliance.
Represented by the Law Office of Mary-Alice Coleman through the seven years of litigation after her termination, Janet Keyzer was forced to oppose three Motions to Strike, two Demurrers, a Motion for Summary Judgment, a Motion to Dismiss, a Motion for Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict, and a Motion for New Trial. Ms. Keyzer also had to scratch and claw for every scrap of evidence and testimony, and was further forced to file two Motions to Compel Further Interrogatory Responses, a Motion to Compel Further Document Production, a Motion to Compel Depositions, a Motion to Continue the Trial Date (because of late-produced evidence), and a Motion to Reopen Discovery (because of new information).
In mid-2014, Ms. Keyzer went to trial on a single cause of action for whistleblower retaliation in violation of Government Code § 8547.10. Shortly before trial commenced, Lawrance Bohm, Esq., of the Bohm Law Group was hired to try the case after the Regents took the unusual defense tactic of identifying Ms. Keyzer’s long-time attorney, Mary-Alice Coleman, as a trial witness.
At trial, a current University manager testified that a named official in the Offices of the Chancellor and Provost confided that she felt it was likely true that Ms. Keyzer was being singled out for retaliation. Evidence also showed that, prior to litigation, University managers sent written instructions not to communicate by email regarding Ms. Keyzer because “email is discoverable” in a lawsuit. After the three-week trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Ms. Keyzer. The University appealed.
In late 2015, the University agreed to withdraw its appeal of the verdict and settle Ms. Keyzer’s claims for nearly $1.7 million. In early 2012, Ms. Keyzer’s formal offer to settle the litigation for $800,000 was rejected outright.
The Vanguard has covered this case since 2009.
- Whistleblower at UC Davis Fired Allegedly For Reporting IRB Non-Compliance and Ethical Violations – September 24, 2009
- UC Davis Whistleblower Case About to Go to Trial After More than Four Years – February 17, 2004
- Jury Awards Janet Keyzer $730,000 From UCD in Whistleblower Retaliation Case – August 13, 2014