LOS ANGELES, Sept. 28, 2017 — California Superior Court Judge Victor Chavez ruled this week to deny a motion requesting a new trial in the largest racial discrimination verdict in California history.
The ruling upholds a June 2017 verdict obtained by attorney Carney Shegerian of Shegerian & Associates, Inc., a California-based litigation law firm specializing in employee rights. The verdict, awarded to client Rickey Moland, was awarded by a Los Angeles jury in the amount of $16.6 million after they found he had been discriminated against due to race, wrongfully terminated, and that his employer, McWane, Inc., failed to prevent discrimination in the workplace. The award of $16.6 million was made up of $373,514 in economic damages, $2.5 million in non-economic damages, and $13.8 million in punitive damages.
Moland, a 53-year-old African-American man, began working for McWane, Inc. as a Production Supervisor in June of 2010. According to Moland’s complaint, he struggled to be treated with respect by many of his subordinates and superiors at the company, despite consistently excellent work performance. Despite this, he chose to continue to work hard, hoping that he would earn his colleagues’ respect.
Throughout his tenure as the first and only African-American manager in the McWane, Inc.’s Corona facility, Moland’s complaint describes how he was repeatedly referred to by other employees in racially derogatory terms. Managers and Human Resources became aware of this conduct, yet did nothing to stop it. Moland later learned from multiple sources that he was regularly referred to by “the n-word” behind his back by several employees, including supervisors and high-ranking management.
Anonymous complaints of racism were filed by two separate employees, which launched an internal investigation. At the conclusion of the investigation, the company chose to fire Moland in April of 2012 on the grounds that he was not “getting along” with fellow employees.
“Rickey Moland was awarded a fair verdict for the mistreatment he received in the workplace and this week Judge Chavez has upheld that verdict,” said Shegerian. “The jury saw that Rickey is a hardworking, ethical professional who was victimized by racial discrimination and that his employer chose to look the other way and wrongfully terminate him. Today’s affirmation of that verdict acts as a strong message to employers across the state that juries are not afraid to award what is deserved to mistreated employees.”
Case # BC559796
Headquartered in Santa Monica, California and with offices in San Diego, San Francisco, & New York, Shegerian & Associates is a law firm specializing in protecting the rights of employees who have been wronged by their employers. Carney Shegerian, Trial Lawyer of the Year Award winner for 2013, has won 76 jury trials in his career, including 33 seven figure verdicts. Shegerian & Associates is passionately dedicated to serving the needs of its clients. For more information about the firm, visit www.ShegerianLaw.com.
Media Contact: To arrange interviews with Carney Shegerian regarding this case or other employment law matters, please contact media@ShegerianLaw.com