|Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer|
Monday, May 19, 2008
City of Brotherly Love? Not Always, At Least Not in the Police Department
We find that a jury might well believe that their supervisors made their lives the 'living nightmare' one supervisor promised as payment for opposing unlawful discrimination.Reading the 41 page opinion will give you a feel for the kind of facts that led at least this jury to make its multi-million dollar finding. Moore v. City of Philadelphia (3rd Cir. 2006)[pdf].
One small but critical point, the headline references a $10 million "judgment." What the story speaks about however is not a judgment, but a verdict. The difference -- a judgment is a finding that you have to pay, once it becomes final; a verdict, is a jury's decision that after post-trial review by the Court, can be turned into a judgment. It's a key distinction, and although a $10 million dollar verdict is bad, and could possibly turn into a $10 million judgment, there is still quite a ways to go.
Still, the point remains whatever the final outcome, this was yet another case where a jury clearly was angered by what they believed happened. You can't necessarily take a verdict to the bank, but as an employer, you certainly should take it to heart.