Monday, July 25, 2011

Semler v. General Electric Capital (Cal. Ct. App. - June 29, 2011)

Some cases are pretty easy.

Plaintiff says he was discriminated against because GE Capital refused to invest in a company if plaintiff was made a manager, which led the company to not permit him to become a member.  Plaintiff says that GE Capital's conduct violates California's Unruh Act.

I can see that a totally unjustified refusal to invest in a company based on some totally arbitrary reason might indeed violate California law.  For example, if you said "I refuse to allow you to hire any blondes," maybe that might indeed state a claim.  Not totally sure, since arguably you have a right to invest your capital irrationally.  But in the context of private placements and the like, at least for the moment, I'll accept that proposition.

So let's see what the case is here.  Why did GE Capital not want to invest its money in a company in which Richard Semler was also a member?

It might have something to do with the three years Semler spent in federal prison in Lompoc.  For felony convictions for conspiracy to sell weapons to Syria (including military helicopters) as well as tax evasion.

Uh, yeah.  That's not exactly a protected class.  Demurrer granted.  Affirmed on the merits.