Recent Jury Verdicts and Settlements

Our latest update on recent jury verdicts and settlements after the break. Of particular interest is the final story on the Crawford case, which resulted in a plaintiff’s verdict on remand from the U.S. Supreme Court.

VA – The Department of Veterans’ Affairs has settled a race bias suit brought by a group of African American employees who claimed they received lower bonuses and compensation than their white co-workers. The settlement consists of a $5 million payout to be distributed among the employees.

VA – The Fourth Circuit vacated a $10 million punitive damages award in a race discrimination suit brought by a minority-owned subcontractor whose contract was not renewed by DynCorp, a defense contractor. The court upheld the jury’s finding of liability against DynCorp, but vacated the punitive damages award for lack of evidence that DynCorp terminated the contract “’in the face of a perceived risk that [its] decision would violate federal law.”

AL – A federal jury awarded $2.7 million to a female employee who alleged she was sexually harassed by her manager.

WA – A jury found in favor of the state and the Department of Corrections in a sexual harassment and retaliation suit brought by a former officer who alleged he was harassed by two female supervisors and then transferred in retaliation.

OR – A federal jury awarded $164,000 to a former University of Oregon professor who alleged she was subject to a hostile work environment based on her race and national origin.

KY – A federal jury awarded $150,000 in a sexual harassment suit brought by a female employee who alleged she was harassed by her supervisor.

TX – The court of appeals affirmed a $300,000 compensatory damages award in a hostile work environment suit brought by a city employee.

PA – The Third Circuit vacated a $52,000 punitive damages awarded entered in favor of a former police chief in a discrimination suit. The appellate court upheld the liability finding.

MO – The court of appeals reversed the trial court’s finding in a reverse discrimination suit brought under the Missouri Human Rights Act against the city by an applicant for a municipal judge appointment. The appellate court found that the Act did not apply to municipal judges because they were not “employees” within the meaning of the Act.

NY – The Second Circuit affirmed the trial court’s ruling in favor of the city employer in a race and gender hostile work environment and wrongful termination suit.

CA – A California appeals court reversed a $6.2 million verdict in a race, gender, and sexual orientation discrimination suit brought by a former firefighter against the city of Los Angeles. The appeals court found that the plaintiff had failed to exhaust her administrative remedies.

TN – On remand to the trial court, the plaintiff in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Crawford v. Metro. Gov’t of Nashville and Davidson County (which held that the retaliation clause protects employees who report discrimination in response to a question) was awarded $420,000 in compensatory damages, over $480,000 in back pay, and $727,000 in front pay damages.