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Zuniga v. Alexandria Care Center, LLC (CA2/7 B297023 8/12/21) PAGA/Expert Witness Testimony 

Rosalinda Zuniga appeals the judgment in favor of Alexandria Care Center, LLC, Skilled Healthcare, LLC and Skilled Healthcare Group, Inc. (collectively Alexandria Care) entered after a five-day bench trial of her representative claim for penalties under the Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (PAGA) (Lab. Code, § 2698 et seq.).  Zuniga contends the trial court erred in excluding the testimony of her two proposed expert witnesses, Dean Van Dyke and Richard Drogin, Ph.D., and the spreadsheets prepared by Van Dyke’s company, iBridge LLC, which provided the basis for Dr. Drogin’s opinions establishing Alexandria Care’s Labor Code violations.  We agree the court erred in excluding the expert testimony of Dr. Drogin even if the iBridge spreadsheets lacked the foundation necessary to be admitted into evidence, and the error was prejudicial.  The judgment is reversed, and the cause remanded for a new trial.