Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Thursday, December 19, 2002

Winning the Lottery, the Jury Way - Another Million Dollar Verdict


The Courier Journal has the story of a husband and wife's 4.3 million jury verdict last night for their wrongful termination from the Kentucky Lottery Corp. After 10 years of employment, they were both fired on charges of misconduct, but only shortly after the wife testifed on behalf of a blind colleague in a discrimination claim. The wife testified she was pressured to testify falsely at an unemployment hearing for the colleague. This is clearly a case that boiled down to a credibility call. The jury, although not unaminously, went for the former employees. The lesson it teaches is that where there is a clear cut credibility issue, especially over inflammatory facts, and the employer loses, the damages awarded are likely to reflect not only the loss of the plaintiffs, but the anger of the jury over being 'lied to' as well.

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