Court: United States District Court for the Western District of WA at Seattle
Judge: Hon. Judge Marsha J. Pechman
Date Filed: 10/21/16
Date of Settlement or Verdict: 12/15/2017
Total Amount of Judgment or Settlement: $674,292.54
Basic Facts and Claims: Plaintiff was born and raised in Kenya and immigrated to USA in 1999. Allegations: during his employment he was harassed, discriminated against on the basis of his race and national origin He was repeatedly followed, stared at and regarded with suspension subjected to demeaning comments(“monkeybutter” “Ebola “) management did not intervene.
Damages Awarded: $500,000 retaliation and hostile work environment; $148,422.50 attorneys fees and $25,870.44
Defendants moved for a remittur to $50,000. It was denied on 1/30/18.
Expert Witnesses: none
Plaintiff testified about his own emotional distress damages stating that he meditated, would cringe when he passed by construction projects that he had participated. He further testified: “Now, instead of dwelling on the negativity and the mistreatment that I was receiving, I chose to be patient, to persevere, and instead of being bitter and angry and going out of control — or going out of control, I chose to meditate, put in positive emotions in all the experiences I was going through. And by infusing positive emotions in each one of those experiences, and meditating upon those experiences, enabled me to be a normal person in society, to be able to function, to be able to complete my studies, and to be able to also get out there and look for employment.
It is through writing these experiences down, it is through meditation, and it’s through infusing positive emotions in those meditations that reflected upon those experiences that I was able to get over it.
But I’m not over it completely, because meditation is a daily thing, and it is a daily thing for me because I do get flashbacks. I drive for Uber and Lyft. I pass these construction sites all day, every day. When I drive through construction sites, I see myself there. In my mind, I see myself there. I see myself physically there. But the closer I get to these construction sites, whenever I see what’s going on in the construction sites, I see the spitting, I see the mucus, the nasty, icky stuff all around me. I see the name-calling, being made fun of. All those things always come back. Even with meditation, they always come back.”
Plaintiff’s Counsel: Beverly G. Grant and Elizabeth Lunde for Plaintiffs of Beverly Grant Law Firm, P.S.
Patricia Rose, Contract Attorney assisted with various motions.
Defense: Kristina Markosova (Corr, Cronin et al) Laurence A. Shapero (Ogletree firm) and Skylar A. Kennedy of FoxRothchild LLP
Additional Comments: The judge denied Plaintiff’s Motion for a .5 enhancement supported by an exceptional Declaration of Judith Lonnquist.
The judge denied our Batson challenge dismissing a juror who stated that she obtained her Masters in Cultural Diversity.