Court: U.S. District Court for Western District of Washington at Tacoma
Judge: Robert J. Bryan
Date Filed: 07/16/2015
Date of Settlement or Verdict: Verdict 11/14/2016; Settlement 12/29/2016
Total Amount of Judgment or Settlement: judgment – $651,206.08
attorney fees – $166,087.50; expenses allowed – $31,094.23 (total attorney fees and expenses = $197.181.73)
costs granted = $8,114.78
Basic Facts and Claims: Plaintiff was 30 year employee of city water dept. He was discharged when he did not recover 100% from shoulder surgery. Alleged disability discrimination, failure to accommodate and failure to engage in interactive process. Jury found in favor on 3rd claim (interactive process); against on first two claims.
Damages Awarded: Jury awarded general damages not separated out for $651,206.08. Def. expert claimed $107k total lost back and front wages. Plaintiff’s expert calculated from $900k – $1.6m lost back pay and front pay and pension (PERS) benefits. Plaintiff also asked for “garden variety” emotional distress damages but had no medical support.
Expert Witnesses: Plaintiff: vocational expert Judith Parker; economist Christina Tapia
Def’s vocational expert William Skilling; economist Erick C. West
Plaintiff Attorney: Peter Fels
Defendant Attorney: Michael Bolasina (Summit Law Group) and Peter Altman
Additional Comments: Defendant threatened to appeal after judgment and offered to settle for $500,000; case settled for confidential higher amount, including structured settlement. Although “confidential”, actual settlement documents should be available from City of Longview under PRA. Trial went 7 days.