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After decade in court, at least the lawyers can claim victory

by on
in Employment Law,Human Resources

Former West Palm Beach police officer William McCray has waged a 10-year battle against the city, claiming he suffered discrimination because he is black.

Last September, a jury sided with McCray and awarded him $230,000, although it ruled against a claim that he had endured pain and suffering as a result of the discrimination. But the city appealed, claiming McCray’s actual lost wages due to discrimination amounted to only $3,000.

Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Donald Hafele agreed and reduced the verdict to $3,000.

Now McCray can accept the reduced verdict or seek a new trial in hopes a new jury will be more sympathetic. One other option: The city could make a settlement offer.

Regardless, West Palm Beach will still pay out a bundle of money. Because the jury sided with McCray in his jury trial, the city already owes more than $200,000 for McCray’s legal fees.

Note: Faced with what you consider a meritless employee lawsuit, it’s often tempting to fight it out in court as a matter of principle. But at some point, it’s better to cut your losses and settle. The only parties that benefit from 10-year legal battles are lawyers.


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