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San Francisco plaintiffs attorney Angela Alioto won an $11.2 million jury verdict against cosmetics giant Mary Kay Cosmetics Inc. The verdict, in Dallas County, Texas’ 191st District Court, found Mary Kay liable for disability discrimination against one of its top-grossing sales directors. According to Alioto, Claudine Woolf of Martinez was denied an accommodation by Mary Kay while she was pregnant and battling breast cancer when the company refused to lower her sales quota. Originally filed in Contra Costa County Superior Court, the case was moved to state court in Texas, where Mary Kay Cosmetics is based. While the case was tried under Texas procedural law, it relied on California substantive law, specifically the state’s Fair Employment and Housing Act. Woolf, like much of Mary Kay’s sales force, was an independent contractor. But the jury found that she was entitled to the same civil rights protections as full-time employees, said Alioto. The jury “sent a message to all companies that rely on independent contractors that their employees are human beings who deserve to be treated with fairness and equality when they are sick,” Alioto said in a statement. The jury awarded Woolf $10 million in punitive damages and $1.247 million in compensatory damages. Alioto, who will ask the court for an additional $2 million in attorneys fees, will take 40 percent of the total award. She was assisted by co-counsel Pamela Pitt, a solo attorney of the Law Office of Pamela Pitt. Attorneys at Littler Mendelson, which represented Mary Kay, could not be reached for comment. The firm’s lead counsel was partner John McCarthy Jr. Alioto said she expects Mary Kay to appeal the decision. The verdict comes after nearly five years of litigation that generated a fair amount of publicity, including an article in People magazine. IMPAC MEDICAL SYSTEMS Mountain View-based IMPAC Medical Systems Inc. staged its initial public offering on Nov. 20. Lawyers in the San Francisco office of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe represented IMPAC through their IPO. “It certainly was rare — we made the initial filing end of May,” said the lead partner, Alan Talkington, describing the success of IMPAC’s IPO. “[Last] spring there were signs of life in the IPO market for health care stocks, but in June the market fell away dramatically. There were no IPOs in June through September. We put ourselves in position to go in October. So we were prepared when the market had four good weeks in a row.” IMPAC offered 2,187,500 shares of its common stock at $15. The stock shot up to $18.16 in midday trading on Nasdaq, a 21 percent jump. The company raised $32.8 million. The company is a maker of information technology products that assist health care providers in managing cancer care. In addition to Talkington, Orrick associates Brett Cooper, John Beer and Emmeline Graham worked on the transaction.

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