Appellate Court Affirms $3.25M Award for City of LA Employee

Attorney Carney Shegerian’s $3.25 Million Award for Former City of Los Angeles Employee is Affirmed by Appellate Court

A former City of Los Angeles employee who had previously won a disability and race discrimination jury verdict had his $3.25 million award affirmed by Appellate Court this week.

Represented by Carney Shegerian of Shegerian & Associates, Inc., a Santa Monica-based litigation law firm specializing in employee rights, Plaintiff James Duffy, who had obtained a $3.25 million unanimous jury verdict two years ago, will receive his compensation after the City of Los Angeles’ appeal was denied.

The City was unsuccessful in its attempt to challenge the trial court’s denial of its motion for summary judgment, admission of what it deemed to be hearsay statements, the deposition testimony of Duffy’s dying wife, and sufficiency of the evidence to support the jury verdict. The City had also filed a notice of appeal challenging the trial court’s order granting Duffy’s motion for attorney fees. Finding no prejudicial error with regard to any of the issues the City appealed, Appellate Court affirmed the judgment.

“We are thrilled that Mr. Duffy’s win has been ratified by the Court of Appeals,” said Shegerian. “There is no more deserving client than Mr. Duffy, who even after suffering serious traumatic brain injury continued working year after year. To be met with ongoing harassment, retaliation and discrimination thereafter was beyond the pale horrific and illegal.”

Duffy was originally awarded $3.255 million by a State of California Superior Court jury that unanimously found valid his claims of disability and race harassment, retaliation and discrimination by his former employer, the City of Los Angeles and three of his supervisors.

Duffy, a Caucasian man aged 63, had worked as a gardener for the City’s Department of Recreation and Parks for 20 years. He had claimed that he was forced to retire after a number of discriminatory and harassing incidents perpetuated by his supervisors had taken place. After Duffy suffered a head injury in an on-the-job accident, causing him short-term memory problems, he claimed the discrimination and harassment escalated.

Duffy stated he had complained to the defendants several times about the discrimination and harassment he had endured due to both his racial background and his disability, but the city had taken no action.

After Shegerian helped Duffy achieve his unanimous jury victory in trial court, the city attempted to appeal the verdicts, challenging elements of the case. Finding no errors in the original ruling, the Appellate Court affirmed the judgment in favor of Duffy.

“Hopefully this verdict and the fact that it has been affirmed by the Appellate Court will further serve to put employers on notice that they cannot discriminate against employees of any race or suffering from disabilities,” added Shegerian.

An experienced trial attorney, Shegerian has tried many jury trials to verdict in both state and federal court, representing individuals that have suffered financial or emotional losses and have been wronged by employers, including major corporations. Shegerian has built a remarkable career on helping those who have been wronged in the workplace. He has won over 70 jury trials, including 28 seven figure verdicts representing employees.

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