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.