A jury has added $1.6 million to the tab for the Los Angeles Fire Department’s (LAFD) handling of a discrimination lawsuit, bringing the total to $4.5 million.
The case began when a black LAFD firefighter alleged that someone had laced his spaghetti dinner with dog food. That firefighter received a $1.5 million settlement—after the city paid out $1.3 million in legal fees.
At the time of the original incident, two white fire captains were suspended. They sued, alleging they had been made scapegoats of the incident. They said they believed that a Latino firefighter had actually added the dog food to the spaghetti.
A jury that included four Latinos and one Asian sided with the white firefighters, who claimed they had called for a full investigation, but had instead been blamed.
Final note: This case illustrates why it’s crucial to carry out a fair and impartial investigation of discrimination claims.
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