Recent Victories of Console Mattiacci Law, LLC
Console Mattiacci Law, LLC Wins $850,000 Unanimous Jury Verdict (Not Including Front Pay and Attorney’s Fees) Against Temple University in Age, Retaliation, and Hostile Work Enviroment Case
PHILADELPHIA, PA, July 20, 2018 – Console Mattiacci Law, LLC won a unanimous jury verdict in federal court on behalf of former employee, Ruth Briggs, in an age discrimination, retaliation and hostile work environment case against Temple University. Ms. Briggs was represented by trial counsel Laura C. Mattiacci, Esquire and Rahul Munshi, Esquire, and assisted by paralegal, Charlene Bates. The verdict was rendered on July 19, 2018, after a four day trial in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania before the Honorable Robert F. Kelly.
Ms. Briggs worked at Temple University for 13 years. In her last position as Executive Assistant to the Chair of the Computer and Information Sciences Department, she alleged she was subjected to discrimination, retaliation, and a hostile work environment. Ms. Briggs alleged that on the day before her 57th birthday, the Chair, who was her supervisor and of Chinese descent, told Ms. Briggs words to the effect of: “In China, they put women out to pasture at your age.” Ms. Briggs replied, “With all due respect, we are not in China, we are in America.” Ms. Briggs alleged that she received a written disciplinary action shortly thereafter for her response. Ms. Briggs alleged that for the next two and a half years, she was subjected to a hostile work environment and retaliated against after repeatedly complaining about the environment and reaching out to human resources for help. Ultimately, on April 1, 2014, five weeks after relaying that she intended to file an EEOC complaint, Ms. Briggs was fired for what Temple University said were ongoing performance deficiencies. The jury rejected this explanation and found that Ms. Briggs’ age and her complaints of age discrimination led to her termination and that she was subjected to a hostile work environment because of her age and her complaints of age and sex discrimination.
The jury was asked to assess “compensatory damages” (compensation for pain, suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, or loss of enjoyment of life) as a result of Temple’s conduct and returned a unanimous verdict of $350,000. They also awarded back-pay losses of $250,000 to Ms. Briggs, who made approximately $50,000 per year plus benefits. The jury also found that Temple University acted with “willful indifference,” which added an additional $250,000 in liquidated damages. Judge Kelly will decide the appropriate amount of front-pay damages; her front pay losses are approximately $47,500 per year. A petition for reimbursement of attorneys’ fees and costs will also be submitted. Temple University was represented by Littler Mendelson in Philadelphia.
Console Mattiacci Law, LLC Wins Jury Verdict of over $1.65 Million, Plus Attorney’s Fees
After a four-day trial at the Lehigh County Courthouse in Allentown, Pennsylvania, the jury deliberated for 70 minutes before rendering a unanimous verdict in favor of Plaintiff, Charles Nifong and against Defendants CST Brands on all claims. All twelve jurors found that the company breached its contract with Mr. Nifong and that the company’s failure to pay Mr. Nifong under the contract was not in good faith. Plaintiff’s trial counsels were Lane J. Schiff and Emily R. Derstine-Friesen of Console Mattiacci Law, LLC. Defendants’ trial counsels were David Fryman and Amy Bashore of Ballard Spahr, LLP.
The case involved a contract of which Mr. Nifong was a beneficiary and which provided Mr. Nifong certain benefits if his important job duties were reduced after a change in control at the company. Mr. Nifong complied with the contract’s requirements when a change in control occurred and his important job duties were reduced; however, the company failed to comply with its contractual obligations and refused to pay Mr. Nifong the benefits to which he was entitled under the contract. Defense counsel argued that Mr. Nifong was not timely in exercising his rights under the contract, and that the alternative positions offered to Mr. Nifong relieved the company of its obligation to pay him.
The jury’s verdict vindicated Mr. Nifong after more than two and a half years of hard fought litigation. In 2015, after the case was filed in state court, Defendants removed the case to federal court, arguing that ERISA preempted Plaintiff’s state law and common law claims. Plaintiff then successfully remanded the case to state court per order of Judge Schmehl of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, which held that the contract was not governed by ERISA.
Mr. Nifong’s award exceeds $1.65 million, which includes full payment under the contract, an additional 25% of the contact amount in liquidated damages, and prejudgment interest. In addition, Plaintiff is entitled to attorney’s fees under the Wage Payment and Collection Law, and those fees exceed $400,000.
Stephen G. Console, a founding partner of Console Mattiacci Law, LLC, commented about the verdict: “Mr. Nifong’s determination to stand up for his rights, battle a large company for years and win a complete victory at trial should be cheered by employees everywhere. Too often employers attempt to squeeze their employees out of money owed, using their enormous economic advantage as a lever. This verdict hopefully will deter some companies from doing that in the future.”
Console Mattiacci Law, LLC Wins Jury Verdict of More Than $1.5 Million on Behalf of Former Phillies Pitcher Mitch Williams Against Major League Baseball Network
On June 20, 2017, after an 11 day jury trial in Camden, a jury found in favor of former Phillie, Mitch Williams, in his breach of contract claim against MLB Network. The amount of the award is $1,565,333. The jury rejected MLB Network’s allegations that Mr. Williams violated the “morals clause” in his contract in regards to events that occurred at a youth baseball game in 2014 where he was the manager.
Laura Carlin Mattiacci, of Console Mattiacci Law, LLC and lead trial counsel for Mitch Williams, stated “This verdict completely vindicates Mitch Williams, who was viciously defamed by anonymous sources on the internet and then had MLB Network breach its contract with him. Justice was served today.” Ms. Mattiacci was also assisted by Rahul Munshi at trial.
Console Mattiacci Law, LLC Wins $51.56 Million Age Discrimination Verdict Against Lockheed Martin
In the evening hours on January 26, 2017, after a four day trial, a federal jury in Camden, New Jersey rendered an age discrimination verdict in favor of Robert Braden and against Lockheed Martin in the amount of $51,560,000. The verdict included a punitive damages award pursuant to the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination in the amount of $50,000,000. Plaintiff’s trial counsel were Rahul Munshi and Emily R. Derstine Friesen of Console Mattiacci Law, LLC. The verdict is one of the largest ever obtained by an individual plaintiff in an age discrimination case. At the time of his layoff, Mr. Braden was 66 years old, and had worked at Lockheed Martin for approximately 29 years.
The case involved a reduction in force which Mr. Braden claimed was an effort by Lockheed Martin to target older workers in a scheme to lay them off and replace them with younger workers. The jury of eight unanimously agreed, awarding Mr. Braden all of the economic loss he sought ($520,000), concluding that the action was willful (which adds liquidated damages of $520,000, pursuant to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act), and further awarding Mr. Braden pain and suffering damages of $520,000. The jury later concluded that Lockheed Martin was subject to punitive damages in the amount of $50,000,000. Stephen G. Console, a founding partner of Console Mattiacci Law, LLC, commented about the verdict: “The jury sent a loud and clear message to corporate America: no company is too big to follow the civil rights laws of this amazing country of ours. This is a verdict that should make every employee in this country proud and happy.”
Console Mattiacci Law, LLC Wins Federal Court Jourey Verdict Against Golden Nugget Casiono in Disability Discrimination Case
Console Mattiacci Law, LLC won a jury verdict in federal court on behalf of former employee, Mike Jackson, in a disability discrimination and retaliation case against the casino, Golden Nugget of Atlantic City. Mr. Jackson was represented by lead trial counsel, Laura C. Mattiacci and was assisted by Lane J. Schiff, both of Console Mattiacci Law, LLC. The verdict was rendered on December 13, 2016, after a six day trial in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey before the Honorable Joseph H. Rodriguez. The jury found that Mr. Jackson’s disability was a determinative factor in Golden Nugget’s decision not to hire him. They also found that his request for an accommodation and/or alleged complaint regarding the failure to accommodate him was a determinative factor in Golden Nugget’s decision not to hire him. The jury was asked only to assess “compensatory damages” (compensation for pain, suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, or loss of enjoyment of life) as a result of the failure to hire and returned a unanimous verdict of $340,000. Mr. Jackson, who made approximately $48,000 a year, also has back-pay losses of approximately $170,000 as well as front-pay losses, the award of which will be determined by the Judge. A petition for reimbursement of attorneys’ fees and costs will also be submitted, which Mr. Jackson’s counsel believes should bring the final award to approximately $1 million. Read more about the case by clicking here.
Console Mattiacci Law, LLC, Federal Court Jury Verdict Against At&T Affirmed on Appeal
On December 20, 2016, Judge Schmehl of the United States District Court for the Eastern DIstrict of Pennsylania denied the appaeal of AT&T to overturn the verdict rendered last January. Console Mattiacci Law, LLC had won a unanimous jury verdict in federal court on behalf of former employee, Jack Gerundo, in an age discrimination case against AT&T. Mr. Gerundo, age 66 at the time, alleged that he was terminated by AT&T in connection with a “surplus” event that occurred in March of 2013, which resulted in many older employees losing their jobs. The jury found that Mr. Gerundo’s age was the determinative factor in AT&T’s decision to “surplus” him, which resulted in the loss of his job, and awarded him $370,000 in damages. Laura C. Mattiacci, the lead trial attorney for Mr. Gerundo, said that it took a tremendous amount of time and work to uncover the details of the discriminatory decision-making process at AT&T and believes the final judgment in the case should exceed $900,000 after the attorneys’ fees and costs incurred are accessed. Read more about the case by clicking here.
In denying AT&T’s appeal, the Judge recognized the work done during trial to esatablish bias by the defendant and to discredit the decision-maker. The Court’s opinion read in part: “Roth was impeached several times by plaintiff’s counsel, including a particularly effective video impeachment concerning the reason why Roth would simply not keep plaintiff on the Fiserv account since he was doing a good job… Having witnessed Roth’s demeanor on the stand, the jury apparently did not credit Roth’s trial testimony that she was not the relevant decision maker… When viewed cumulatively, ample evidence existed in the record from which the
jury could either “disbelieve the defendants’ articulated legitimate reasons or believe that an invidious discriminatory reason was more likely than not a motivating or determinative cause of the employer’s action.”
Third Circuit Court of Appeals Rules in Favor of Console Mattiacci Law, LLC, Reversing the Trial Court’s Dismissal of a Race Discrimination Claim and Sending the Case to a Jury Trial
Console Mattiacci Law, LLC won an important appeal of a trial court’s decision to dismiss a race discrimination case. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that there were genuine issues of material fact in dispute concerning the employer’s stated reason for terminating the contract of the African-American operators of an Avis location who were represented by Console Mattiacci Law, LLC. As a result, the dismissal was reversed and the case is heading back to the trial court for a jury trial. You can read the full opinion here.
Console Mattiacci Law, LLC Wins Age Discrimination Case Against AT&T
Console Mattiacci Law, LLC won a unanimous jury verdict in federal court on behalf of former employee, Jack Gerundo, in an age discrimination case against AT&T. Mr. Gerundo, age 66 at the time, alleged that he was terminated by AT&T in connection with a “surplus” event that occurred in March of 2013, which resulted in many older employees losing their jobs. The jury found that Mr. Gerundo’s age was the determinative factor in AT&T’s decision to “surplus” him, which resulted in the loss of his job, and awarded him $370,000 in damages. Laura C. Mattiacci, the lead trial attorney for Mr. Gerundo, said that it took a tremendous amount of time and work to uncover the details of the discriminatory decision-making process at AT&T and believes the final judgment in the case should exceed $900,000 after the attorneys’ fees and costs incurred are accessed. Read more about the case by clicking here.
Console Mattiacci Law, LLC Obtains $9.5 Million Settlement On Behalf Of Retired Workers
On October 23, 2014, U.S. District Court Judge Robert D. Mariani approved a $9.5 million class settlement of a decade-long dispute between former Owens-Illinois (O-I ) employees and the company. Carol Mager and Susan Saint-Antoine of Console Mattiacci Law, LLC, and Sidney Gold of Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. respectively represented 100 long-service terminated employees who were denied subsidized retirement benefits when the business they worked for was sold by O-I. In 2010 the case was certified as a class action and had proceeded through full pre-trial discovery. The settlement provides a lump sum tax-deferred payment to each of the 100 class members from the pension plan, in addition to the regular retirement benefit. It also represents the successful conclusion of seven years of hard-fought litigation over the entitlement to the special retirement benefits.
Console Mattiacci Law, LLC Wins Motion on Behalf of Teachers in Age Discriminiation Lawsuit
Console Mattiacci Law, LLC represents four long service, recently fired teachers in an age discrimination suit against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The Archdiocese filed a motion to have the case thrown out of court, arguing that it was exempt from the civil rights laws, but Console Mattiacci Law, LLC defeated the motion and the case is proceeding. Click here for more details.
Console Mattiacci Law, LLC Submits Motion for Preliminary Approval of Settlement in Sessions V Owens Illinois Class Action
On February 19, 2014, class counsel submitted to Judge Robert D. Mariani of the Middle District of Pennsylvania a motion for preliminary approval of the parties’ settlement in Sessions et al v Owens et al., a class action alleging ERISA claims for benefits and breach of fiduciary duty arising out of the denial of Enhanced Retirement Benefits. Carol Mager of Console Mattiacci Law, LLC represents the class along with co-counsel Sid Gold. More information is available here:
Motion -Part 1
Motion- Part 2
Console Mattiacci Law, LLC Files Suit on Behalf of Medicate Fraud Wistleblower
A twenty-six-year employee of Abington Memorial Hospital in Abington, Pennsylvania complained of medicare fraud and billing irregularities to her superiors and was shortly thereafter fired. Read the full Federal Court Complaint filed on her behalf by Console Mattiacci Law, LLC here. Read more about the case by clicking here or here.
Console Mattiacci Law, LLC Won the Largest Employment Law Verdict in Pennsylvania in 2013!
The Legal Intelligencer reports that the verdict $1.678 million (plus attorneys’ fees and costs) obtained by Console Mattiacci Law, LLC’s lead trial counsel Laura Carlin Mattiacci, assisted by Rahul Munshi, on behalf of a whistleblower, was the largest employment law verdict in Pennsylvania in 2013. If you believe your employer is engaging in wrongful or illegal conduct, contact Console Mattiacci Law, LLC today for a full and thorough explanation of your rights.
Case Conclusion Date: March 22, 2013
Outcome: Jury Verdict: $1.678 million (plus petition for attorneys’ fees and costs)
Description: Ms. Mattiacci was lead trial counsel representing an employee who was retaliated against after bringing forth complaints of wrongful activity in the workplace. After a five-day trial, the jury returned a verdict of $1.678 million (with attorneys’ fees and costs the final judgment will be over $2.0 million). The plaintiff, Marla Pietrowski, worked as a senior case manager at The Kintock Group, a corporation that provides transition services to ex-convicts recently released from prison. The jury found she reasonably believed that a manager was engaged in drug activity and violated public policy when he brought his child to the facility where convicted child predators were assigned to report, that she objected to or disclosed the conduct and that the termination she suffered afterward was retaliatory. The case was brought under the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (“CEPA”). Ms. Pietrowski, who made approximately $44,000 a year, was awarded full back pay of $77,988.75, pain and suffering damages of $100,000 and punitive damages of $1.5 million.
Case Conclusion Date: December 2012
Outcome: Confidential Settlement on 5th Day of Trial in Federal Court
Description: Ms. Mattiacci was lead trial counsel representing a terminated marketing executive alleging age discrimination. The case went to trial in federal court and settled for a confidential amount on the fifth day of trial.
Case Conclusion Date: November 2012
Outcome: Confidential Settlement Week Before Trial
Description: Ms. Mattiacci was lead trial counsel, representing a law librarian who alleged she was fired and wrongfully arrested after being falsely accused by her employer/law firm of pulling a fire alarm. During the case it was established that Ms. Mattiacci’s client did not pull the fire alarm. This federal court case involved claims of defamation, wrongful termination, violation of constitutional rights and malicious prosecution. The case against the client’s employer settled just before jury selection for a confidential amount.
Case Conclusion Date: April 2012
Outcome: Confidential Settlement on 5th Day of Trial in Federal Court
Description: Ms. Mattiacci was lead trial counsel representing a female Sales Manager who alleged she was discriminated against because she was female and terminated in retaliation for having complained of sex discrimination. The case proceeded to trial in federal court and settled on the fifth day for a confidential amount.
Case Conclusion Date: February 2012
Outcome: Confidential Settlement on Eve of Trial
Description:Ms. Mattiacci was lead trial counsel in a case involving claims of assault, false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress. After overcoming Defendants’ motions concerning workers’ compensation preemption, the case proceeded to trial. The case was settled after oral argument on motions in limine, right before jury selection, for a confidential amount.
Case Conclusion Date: February 18, 2011
Outcome: Jury Verdict for Ms. Mattiacci’s Client
Description: Ms. Mattiacci was lead trial counsel representing the Plaintiff-employee in a case of defamation, invasion of privacy-false light and interference with contracts against his former employer. The jury returned a six-figure verdict in favor of Ms. Mattiacci’s client. Ms. Mattiacci was 9 months pregnant during the trial and gave birth to her second beautiful baby boy ten days after the winning verdict.