LOS ANGELES– Last week, Carney Shegerian of Shegerian & Associates, Inc., a Santa Monica-based litigation law firm specializing in employee rights, obtained a more than $16.6 million wrongful termination and racial discrimination jury verdict in favor of his client against defendants McWane, Inc. The verdict enters the record books as the largest of its kind in California legal history.
A Los Angeles jury found that Shegerian’s client, Rickey Moland, had been discriminated against due to race, was wrongfully terminated and that McWane, Inc. failed to prevent discrimination in the workplace. The court announced that the record-setting award of $16.6 million was made up of $373,514 in economic damages, $2.5 million in non-economic damages, and $13.8 million in punitive damages.
The verdict, the single largest racial discrimination-based wrongful termination verdict in California state legal history, further enhances Shegerian’s remarkable track record in wrongful termination cases. Shegerian has represented 5 of the 10 largest wrongful termination verdicts on California record.
In this most recent case, Moland, a 53-year-old African American man, began working for McWane, Inc. as a Production Supervisor in June of 2010. According to Moland’s complaint, he struggled to be treated with respect by many of his subordinates and superiors at the company, despite consistently excellent work performance. Despite this, he chose to continue to work hard, hoping that he would earn his colleagues’ respect.
Throughout his tenure as the first and only African-American manager in the McWane, Inc.’s Corona facility, Moland’s complaint describes how he was repeatedly referred to by other employees in racially derogatory terms. Moland reported that he learned from multiple sources that he was regularly referred to as “the n word” behind his back by several employees, including supervisors and high-ranking management.
Anonymous complaints of racism were filed by two separate employees, which launched an internal investigation. At the conclusion of the investigation, the company chose to fire Moland in April of 2012 on the grounds that he was not “getting along” with fellow employees.
In court, Shegerian was able to prove to the jury that such behavior had taken place and that McWane, Inc. was clearly in violation of discrimination and wrongful termination laws, resulting in a favorable and historic verdict for Moland.
Case # BC559796
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