Console Mattiacci Law Wins $850,000 Unanimous Jury Verdict (Not Including Front Pay and Attorney’s Fees) Against Temple University In Age, Retaliation, and Hostile Work Environment Case
PHILADELPHIA, PA, July 20, 2018 – Console Mattiacci Law, LLC won a unanimous jury verdict in federal court on behalf of a former employee, Ruth Briggs, in 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 the 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.
About Console Mattiacci Law, LLC
Console Mattiacci Law, LLC is an employment rights law firm with offices in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Moorestown, New Jersey. Since its inception in 1990, the firm has focused its practice on the representation of current, former, and potential employees concerning work-related matters. The lawyers at Console Mattiacci Law, LLC counsel whistleblower-employees who have been retaliated against and individuals who have been victimized by illegal employment discrimination and retaliation, including sex, race, religion, disability and age discrimination and sexual harassment at work. They also represent employees concerning medical leaves, disability benefits, wage and hour claims, employment contracts, severance agreements, stock option plans, and class action lawsuits. For more information visit: www.consolelaw.com or call Console Mattiacci Law LLC at 215-545-7676.
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