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Wal-Mart hit with $7.5M jury verdict

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Wal-Mart hit with $7.5M jury verdict

Old 02-25-05, 07:03 AM
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Wal-Mart hit with $7.5M jury verdict

http://money.cnn.com/2005/02/24/news...suit/index.htm


Wal-Mart hit with $7.5M jury verdict

Jury found the discounter discriminated against a disabled employee; assigning him to garbage duty.
February 24, 2005: 4:04 PM EST

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - A New York jury ordered Wal-Mart to pay $7.5 million in damages to a disabled former employee in a class-action lawsuit in which he claimed the retailer unfairly reassigned him to garbage duty even though he was hired to work in the pharmacy department.

The plaintiff, 21-year-old Long Island resident Patrick Brady, suffers from cerebral palsy. According to the plaintiff's attorney Douglas Wigdor, Brady applied for a position in the pharmacy unit of a Wal-Mart store in Centereach, NY. and was hired in the summer of 2002.

But Brady, who worked for just four days before he quit, claimed he was soon reassigned to other responsibilities that included collecting garbage and shopping carts in the Wal-Mart parking lot.


The jury's multi-million dollar award to Brady Wednesday includes $5 million in punitive damages, which is likely to be reduced to between $300,000 and $800,000, according to Wigdor.

"We appreciate the service of the jurors, but disagree with their decision," Wal-Mart spokeswoman Christi Davis Gallagher told CNN. "We feel very strongly that Mr. Brady did not suffer discrimination in our store. Wal-Mart does not tolerate discrimination of any kind."

"As soon as Mr. Brady expressed dissatisfaction with his position, we transferred him to another position that he requested. Although the jury has reached a decision, we do not expect the court to enter a final judgment until we have the opportunity to establish how the jury was wrong. We are optimistic that the award will be substantially reduced or eliminated altogether," Gallagher said.
Old 02-25-05, 07:09 AM
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My wife was once hired for the grooming department at Petsmart but was immediately reassigned to the fish department (or aquatics... whatever they call it). Maybe we should've sued.
Old 02-25-05, 07:37 AM
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Yeah, I had no idea being transferred to another department was grounds for millions of dollars.
Old 02-25-05, 07:40 AM
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As soon as Mr. Brady expressed dissatisfaction with his position, we transferred him to another position that he requested.
If this is true and he sued anyway, then to hell with him.

His disability is superfluous in this case and its mention in the story is distracting and somewhat annoying.

To very loosely paraphrase something I heard on NPR this morning about Warren Buffet: "$7.5 million? WalMart executives throw that much cash on their salads just to add a little color."
Old 02-25-05, 07:42 AM
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He worked only 4 days before he quit -- heck -- you always get the crap shifts as a newbie. That verdict seems a little excessive IMO.
Old 02-25-05, 08:06 AM
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I know that Wal-Mart has a big target on their backs for their labour policies (for good reasons) but this verdict seems excessive to me.
Old 02-25-05, 08:10 AM
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What would someone with cerebral palsy do in the pharmacy unit? Fill medications? I can se the liability problem right now. Know wonder why they transferred him.
Old 02-25-05, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Tuan Jim
He worked only 4 days before he quit -- heck -- you always get the crap shifts as a newbie. That verdict seems a little excessive IMO.
Yeah, about $7.5 million excessive.
Old 02-25-05, 09:40 AM
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You guys are forgetting that it might take a few thousand dollars to fix a broken bone, but it takes at least several million dollars to fix a broken emotion.

After that you need another couple of million to pay tribute to the last true heroes in this country: the litigation lawyers.
Old 02-25-05, 09:51 AM
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I assume this was a ADA suit. $7.5M. These jurors are fucking idiots.
Old 02-25-05, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by movielib
Yeah, about $7.5 million excessive.
Yeah I wonder if they'll raise their prices...
Old 02-25-05, 09:54 AM
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I'd like that hourly wage..
7.5 million for 4 8 hour(assumed) shifts

Even though the story says it will most likely be reduced,thats still a lot of change.
This is one time I hope that Wal-Mart appeals and wins.
Old 02-25-05, 10:04 AM
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This is a pity verdict.
Old 02-25-05, 10:09 AM
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This may be harsh, but if I ran a business, I would never hire a disabled person. If you fire them or reassign them, there is no way you can survive a suit given the nature of the draconian ADA. It is far easier to defend (against discrimination) if you don't hire disabled people to begin with.
Old 02-25-05, 10:12 AM
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Facts don't matter. Walmart in a jury trial means some person with no case is gonna hit the lottery.
Old 02-25-05, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Red Dog
This may be harsh, but if I ran a business, I would never hire a disabled person. If you fire them or reassign them, there is no way you can survive a suit given the nature of the draconian ADA. It is far easier to defend (against discrimination) if you don't hire disabled people to begin with.
This could be said about a lot more than just disabled people.
Old 02-25-05, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by General Zod
This could be said about a lot more than just disabled people.

True but the ADA really makes it hard on businesses.
Old 02-25-05, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Red Dog
This may be harsh, but if I ran a business, I would never hire a disabled person. If you fire them or reassign them, there is no way you can survive a suit given the nature of the draconian ADA. It is far easier to defend (against discrimination) if you don't hire disabled people to begin with.
And this is one of the unintended consequences of all employment discrimination statutes.
Old 02-25-05, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by kvrdave
Facts don't matter. Walmart in a jury trial means some person with no case is gonna hit the lottery.
Agreed. Hell, even I'd vote against Wal-Mart regardless of the facts if I was on the jury.

Wal-Mart is like those pöpli kids. I just hate them so much.
Old 02-25-05, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Otto
Wal-Mart is like those pöpli kids. I just hate them so much.
Old 02-25-05, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Vryce
I'd like that hourly wage..
7.5 million for 4 8 hour(assumed) shifts
$234,275/hr?!

That is an injustice!!

I would not settle for less than $235,000/hr!!

-pedagogue
Old 02-25-05, 03:55 PM
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"The jury's multi-million dollar award to Brady Wednesday includes $5 million in punitive damages, which is likely to be reduced to between $300,000 and $800,000, according to Wigdor."

I'm not sure, will have to do some checking, but I wonder if the likely reduction of punitive damage is due to a Supreme Court ruling about excessive punitive damages.
Old 02-25-05, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by kvrdave
Facts don't matter. Walmart in a jury trial means some person with no case is gonna hit the lottery.

Actually wal-mart aggressively defends law suit against them even though it is often more expensive than settling. This way they get less spurrious lawsuits.

My boss made me do dishes tonight even though I am a delivery driver. Does that mean I can sue?
Old 02-25-05, 10:42 PM
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Well, this certainly is a BS case. I still wouldn't pass this on other disabled people. I am sure most disabled people would be happy if someone just hired them and would definitely work hard to keep their job. At least they would be working rather than receiving disability benefits. All this case will do is make more businesses even more reluctant to hire disabled people but of course Brady's lawyer didn't have that in mind.
Old 02-25-05, 10:46 PM
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Originally Posted by RoQuEr
My boss made me do dishes tonight even though I am a delivery driver. Does that mean I can sue?
[class action lawyer]Are you white? male? young? not disabled? straight? If you answered yes to any of those - no lawsuit for you. [/class action lawyer]

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