Partner Catherine Straggas and Associate Emily Mahler Prevail at Trial in Race/Age Discrimination Lawsuit

Philadelphia Partner Catherine Straggas and Pittsburgh Associate Emily Mahler obtained a defense verdict at trial on an high exposure age and race discrimination lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Plaintiff’s former employer, a large public housing agency. Following the court’s grant of summary judgment resulting in the dismissal of plaintiff’s retaliation and disparate treatment claims, Plaintiff’s remaining claim that he was subjected to a hostile work environment on the basis of his age and race was permitted to proceed to a jury trial. Plaintiff, a 54 year old African American man who worked for his employer as a painter for 16 years, alleged his 68 year old African American supervisor had singled him out because of his age and race hoping to replace him with someone younger. Plaintiff alleged his supervisor constantly made inappropriate comments, assigned him work that was less desirable and more difficult than work assigned to White male painters and that the Agency did not respond to Plaintiff’s complaints of discrimination despite his reports to its Human Resources Department. Prior to trial, Catherine and Emily prevailed on several key motions in limine which significantly limited the claims and damages that Plaintiff could seek at trial. No offers to settle were made in response to several six figure demands. Following a four day trial, the jury announced a verdict in favor of our clients on all remaining claims shortly after closing arguments.