Recent Jury Verdicts and Settlements
Published by Eric A. Welter on May 26, 2009
Our latest update after the break. NE — “Dawes County, located in northwestern Nebraska, will pay $50,000 to an elderly former employee to settle an age discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) . . . . According to the EEOC’s suit, Dawes County instituted a policy requiring all full-time employees over […]
Our latest update after the break.
NE — “Dawes County, located in northwestern Nebraska, will pay $50,000 to an elderly former employee to settle an age discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) . . . . According to the EEOC’s suit, Dawes County instituted a policy requiring all full-time employees over age 70 in the Roads Department to take a medical stress test. [Plaintiff] worked in the Roads Department and was the only full-time employee over age 70. Although [plaintiff] planned to work several more years, his supervisor told him he had to retire because he would not pass the test. After [plaintiff] retired, the EEOC said, the county never implemented the stress test policy.”
CA — “Sacramento restaurant group Paramoor, Inc., will pay $60,000 and provide remedial relief to settle an employment discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) . . . . The EEOC had charged that Paramoor allowed the sexual harassment of two line cooks at the former Paragary’s Gold River Bar & Oven (which has since been sold, operating under new ownership and a new name). According to the EEOC’s suit, the kitchen manager and a co-worker sexually harassed [plaintiffs]. The harassment included lewd comments and gestures, questions about their personal sex lives, propositions, and slapping on their buttocks. When the women asked for the harassment to stop, Paramoor failed to adequately investigate or remedy the illegal harassment, the agency said.”
CA — Jury awards couple $500,000 in Fair Debt Collection Practices Act case. (Not an employment case, but interesting reading nonetheless.)
MO — “Missouri will pay $500,000 to settle a wrongful termination suit filed by a former staffer for Gov. Matt Blunt. Scott Eckersley sued Blunt and several staff members in January 2008, claiming they defamed him and violated state open records law. The suit will cost the state more than a million dollars because the defendants used the state’s legal defense fund to pay attorneys fees.”
NY — Former employee wins $5 million retaliation verdict in lawsuit against school district based on actions of principal. The jury also awarded her husband $250,000 for loss of consortium. A press release by her attorneys’ law firm can be found here.
KS — Maybe a future update: the largest Pizza Hut franchisee is sued for wage and hour violations in a putative class action.
NY — Jury rejects gender bias and retaliation lawsuit involving police promotion.
NC — “West Front Street Foods, LLC, doing business as Compare Foods, will pay $30,000 and provide other relief to settle a national origin and race discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. The EEOC had charged that West Front Street Foods fired [plaintiff], a white, non-Hispanic meat cutter, from a Compare Foods supermarket it operated in Statesville, N.C., based on his race and national origin. The lawsuit also charged that [plaintiff] was replaced by a Hispanic worker as a racially motivated maneuver.”
TX — “Maverick Tube Corporation will pay $175,000 to settle a retaliation discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced . . . . The EEOC’s lawsuit, filed in June 2007, (C.A. 4:07-cv-02033 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division), charged that in May 2005, Maverick Tube retaliated against [plaintiff] by firing him after he reported to its president and chief operating officer the safety manager’s racially offensive comments. The company investigated [plaintiff’s] complaint and, as a result, discharged the manager. But, less than a month after he reported the comments, [plaintiff] was fired after he was falsely accused of saying he would call the company’s president to report his supervisor if he was not permitted to have a requested vacation day. Before conducting any investigation into the allegation made against [plaintiff], the regional human resources manager stated in an e-mail that [plaintiff] should be immediately fired. In that same e-mail, the HR manager reminded his readers that [plaintiff] had recently complained about the safety manager’s racial comments.”
TX — “A Fredericksburg, Texas restaurant will pay $50,000 to settle a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced . . . . The EEOC alleged in its suit that Winslow’s Restaurant’s male general manager engaged in sexual harassment of women employees, which occurred on a regular basis. The abuse included offensive touching of women as well as crude sexual statements and requests for sexual favors, the EEOC charged. Despite efforts by two female employees to report the harassment to the owners, the owners failed to take prompt and effective corrective action and instead allowed the general manager to engage in retaliatory conduct against the two women. The reprisals included a demotion and the reduction of hours which resulted in less pay, the EEOC said. Moreover, these two affected employees felt forced to leave the job because of the intolerable working conditions arising from the sexual harassment and retaliation.”
PA — “A Tullytown, Pa., distributor of home heating oil has agreed to pay $80,000 and provide significant equitable relief to settle an age discrimination lawsuit, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today. The EEOC charged in its lawsuit that Meenan Oil Company unlawfully fired sales representative [plaintiff] because of his age, 71. According to the allegations in the EEOC’s lawsuit, Meenan’s sales manager made several derogatory comments demonstrating a bias against older workers, including stating that he would like to “remove all the older representatives and replace them with younger employees,” repeatedly asking [plaintiff] about his retirement plans and commenting that he would retire if he were “as old as” [plaintiff]. The EEOC said the sales manager also took sales leads and sales territory from [plaintiff]. After the discharge, Meenan Oil replaced [plaintiff] with a substantially younger employee.”
PA — “A Pittsburgh hospital has agreed to pay $100,000 and furnish other equitable relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. The EEOC had charged the hospital with firing an employee because she had cancer. According to the EEOC’s lawsuit against LifeCare Hospitals of Pittsburgh, Inc., former business manager [plaintiff] needed a reasonable accommodation for her disability after she had surgery for cancer and underwent chemotherapy. [Plaintiff] was a longstanding employee of LifeCare Hospitals of Pittsburgh or its predecessor and had a good performance record. LifeCare Hospitals of Pittsburgh, a free-standing hospital facility managed or operated by LifeCare Management Services, LLC, initially provided a reasonable accommodation to [plaintiff]. However, the EEOC charged, in about August 2007 the regional director of finance suddenly stopped accommodating [plaintiff]’s disability and demanded that she return to work full-time with no restrictions. The EEOC’s complaint alleged that after [plaintiff] returned to work full-time, the supervisor discriminated against her because of her disability, including substantially increasing her workload, removing her full-time staff assistant, and subjecting her to unwarranted work scrutiny. Finally, the EEOC charged, the hospital fired [plaintiff] because of her disability.”
TN — “Jack in the Box will pay $20,000 compensatory damages and provide other relief to settle a race discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. The EEOC’s suit (No. 3:08-cv-009663), filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee), had charged that Jack in the Box subjected hostess [plaintiff] to harassment because of her race (white) at its restaurant No. 6900 in Nashville, and failed to take prompt action to end the harassment when she complained about it. Several African American coworkers repeatedly called [plaintiff] by obscene racial epithets. They also allegedly further insulted her when they learned she was pregnant with a mixed-race baby.”
MD — “A government contractor that provides technology services to the U.S. Army at its Aberdeen, Md., location will pay $60,000 and furnish other relief to settle an age discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. In its suit (Case No. 1:08-00548-WMN) filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland), Jacobs Technology, Inc. failed to reassign and/or hire [plaintiff], born in 1948, into an alternate position and subsequently discharged him, based upon supposed customer preference, because of his age. [Plaintiff] had been consistently promoted throughout his tenure with the company since 1988 and was in his late 50s at the time of his termination.”
TX — “A federal district court today awarded the maximum damages of $50,000 and significant injunctive relief in favor of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in a discrimination lawsuit against a Dallas-based commercial janitorial company, the agency announced today. According to the EEOC’s suit, the owners of First Sreymco, LLC, doing business as Jani-King, reduced the work hours of housekeeper [plaintiff] simply because she was pregnant and subsequently fired her. The company ignored medical assurances that [plaintiff] presented to them, the EEOC said, and co-owner [ ] told her that the company did not want to take any risks because of her pregnancy.”
IL — “Ceisel Masonry will pay half a million dollars to settle a race and national origin discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. The EEOC’s suit charged that the north suburban construction company violated federal anti-discrimination laws by subjecting its Hispanic workers to harassment based upon their race and national origin. The EEOC brought its suit on behalf of a class of 10 Hispanic workers, charging that Ceisel’s foremen and former superintendent would refer to the company’s Latino employees with derogatory terms such as “f—ing Mexicans,” “pork chop,” “Julio,” “spics,” “chico” and “wetback.” In addition, the EEOC and the former employees alleged that Hispanic workers were routinely exposed to racist graffiti, which the company never addressed. The case was scheduled for a two-week jury trial to start on May 4, 2009.”
NC — “A North Carolina lumber and hardware retailer will pay $80,000 and furnish other relief to settle a race discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. The EEOC had charged that Talbert subjected a black worker to a racially hostile work environment. Talbert Building Supply operates two locations, including one in Durham, N.C., where the racial harassment occurred. According to the EEOC’s lawsuit (EEOC v. Talbert Building Supply, Inc., in the Middle District of North Carolina, Case No. 1:08CV00707), [plaintiff], who worked in Talbert’s warehouse in Durham, was subjected to explicit racial slurs as well as racial jokes and derogatory stereotypes about blacks. The suit said that the harassment occurred almost daily over a period of two years from March 2005 through February 2007.”
IA — Casey’s General Stores settle wage and hour class action lawsuits for $11.4 million.Topics: Jury Verdicts, Settlements