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Recent Jury Verdicts and Settlements

Published by on December 6, 2010

Our latest update on recent jury verdicts and settlements after the break.  The first case is actually not a jury verdict, but the facts are so ridiculous they merit mention here.  It is quite possible the case will end up being later reported here! UT – The state supreme court recently reversed a trial court’s […]

Our latest update on recent jury verdicts and settlements after the break.  The first case is actually not a jury verdict, but the facts are so ridiculous they merit mention here.  It is quite possible the case will end up being later reported here!

UT – The state supreme court recently reversed a trial court’s dismissal of an intentional infliction of emotional distress suit for failure to state a claim.  In this case, the plaintiff alleged that his supervisor directed his co-workers to “waterboard” him during a work retreat (hold him down while his supervisor poured water over his nose and mouth).  The supreme court’s reversal was solely premised on the fact that the trial court failed to provide a reason for the dismissal.

MI – Consumers Energy asked a court to overturn an $8 million verdict in favor of an employee who sued the company for sexual harassment and hostile work environment.

PA – A non-profit organization was found guilty of race discrimination when it fired an African-American employee.  The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission ordered the company to undergo non-discrimination training.

IA – A federal jury awarded a hotel employee $50,000 in a sex discrimination and retaliation suit against her employer.  The employee, who described herself as “slightly more masculine”, alleged she was fired for opposing the company’s sex stereotypes for their female employees.

VA – A federal jury returned a verdict in favor of the Chesterfield County school system in an age discrimination suit brought by a former director of community relations who alleged she was forced to resign and then replaced by her younger subordinate.  For our previous post on the court’s denial of the school’s motion for summary judgment, click here.

TX – A federal jury found that five of seven FMC Technologies employees were subject to a racially hostile work environment after nooses were found in the workplace.  The jury did not award any damages and was undecided on whether the company exercised reasonable care to prevent and correct the harassing behavior.

NJ – An appeals court upheld a trial court’s decision to dismiss a Perth Amboy police officer’s second lawsuit against his former chief for retaliation; a jury found in favor of the officer in his first lawsuit for national origin discrimination.

NY – The New York State Division of Human Rights adopted the administrative law judge’s recommendation and awarded $600,000 to a former contract partner at a law firm who alleged he had been fired because of his mental health problems.  The law firm stated that the lawyer’s termination was due to unusual charges on the firm’s credit card that he attempted to pass on to clients.

TN – The city of Chattanooga withdrew its appeal of a jury verdict in favor of two former police officers who alleged age discrimination after they were fired and replaced by younger officers.  The city agreed to pay the officers $840,000 in settlement of the appeal, almost $100,000 more than the jury verdict.

CA – Verizon Communications, Inc. agreed to settle a class action suit for over $6 million. The suit was brought on behalf of a class of employees who alleged that their rights were violated under the state’s family and medical leave act.  As part of the settlement, Verizon also agreed to revise its leave policies and train its managers and human resource personnel on the proper leave procedures under the law.

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