Thursday, June 19, 2008

Two of Lowe Nanny's Claims Tossed From Court

Actor Rob Lowe got two out of the total of 12 allegations his former nanny had made against him tossed out of court this morning.

Still remaining are all three of the allegations of a sexual nature, which Lowe didn't even attempt to attack at this point. Virtually all of Jessica Gibson's allegations of violation of wage and hour laws by the Lowes, for whom she worked as a nanny, remain intact as well.

Attorneys Stanton Stein and John West talk to media outside courtroom after this morning's hearing.

Dismissed was an allegation based on a provision of California Labor Law that didn't apply to Gibson as a domestic household employee. Also gone for good is a claim for conversion of property. The judge found that the ancient tort which has a funny name has been preempted by more specific sections of the state's Labor Code, which Gibson had alleged as alternative theories of relief.

Gibson's claim that Lowe and his wife "retaliated" against her by filing a lawsuit was also dismissed, but she was given the opportunity to amend or rephrase her complaint to try again to successfully allege it. She has until June 30 to do so.

Attorneys for both sides emerged from the courtroom after the hearing telling the media that they were happy with the outcome of today's hearing.

John West who argued the case for Gibson, pointed out after court that his client is "still entitled to every dime she was seeking before the ruling."

He also mentioned that his client is "laying low." (I assume no pun was intended) in explaining her absence from the courtroom this morning.

Neither Lowe or his wife were present for this morning's hearing either. No appearance by cameraphile Gloria Allred, who is the most visible of the attorneys representing Gibson. No News-Press reporters were seen in the courtroom, at least by me that is.

All in all, you could say it was a "low key" hearing (yes, I did intend that pun) with West and Lowe's attorney Stanton L. Stein gently arguing their points before Judge Denise deBellefeuille.

The parties will be back in court on July 10 for further motions.

Here's a copy of the judge's tentative ruling, which she stuck to with the exception of count four, the retaliation claim. She sustained that claim but with leave to amend, meaning that Gibson has an opportunity to correct the deficiencies with respect to it.

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P.S. If you've linked to this post directly from Edhat, be sure to read my Friday morning post.