by Michael Fox
It's been a long time since I commented on a million dollar verdict (MDV). But some things never change: retaliation is still the claim that seems to crop up most frequently and more often than not, the employer is a public agency. That was the case in last week's award of 1.5 Million to the NJ Transit Police's first female lieutenant, who claimed that after she complained of sex discrimination she was retaliated against by the Police Chief Joseph Bober.
The award was $449,000 in lost wages and benefits, although it is not clear from the news story that Theresa Frizalone lost her job. The jury tacked on a cool $1 million in punitive damages. The attorneys' fees, not yet awarded may be another $500,000.
According to the newspaper article this suit was only the first of a series of retaliation cases brought against the agency based on the conduct of Bober.