When Both Judge and Jury are Stuck On Stupid

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Sam123, Jun 5, 2006.

  1. Sam123

    Sam123 Guest

    Shame to Journalism. Shame to the School of Law

    "SAN FRANCISCO - A jury awarded $61 million to two FedEx Ground drivers of Lebanese descent who claimed a manager harassed them with racial slurs for two years.

    Edgar Rizkallah, 43, and Kamil Issa, 36, both of Pleasanton, said in the discrimination lawsuit they were called "terrorists," "camel jockeys" and other epithets in 1999 and 2000 by Stacy Shoun, terminal manager for the Oakland FedEx Ground facility where the two men were contract drivers.

    An Alameda County Superior Court jury on Friday awarded the men $50 million in punitive damages, on top of $11 million in compensatory damages the jury awarded them on May 24, a lawyer for the plaintiffs and a FedEx Ground spokesman said Saturday.

    Fedex Ground, the Pittsburgh-based trucking division of shipping giant FedEx Corp., plans to appeal. Spokesman Maury Lane said other managers testified that the harassment never happened, but he declined to discuss specifics of the case, citing ongoing litigation.

    "The jury's verdict was wrong and excessive," Lane said. "The company has strong anti-discriminatory policies, and this is not tolerated."

    Rizkallah and Issa, both Lebanese Americans, accused FedEx Ground and Shoun in the 2001 lawsuit of creating a hostile work environment and causing emotional distress, said their San Francisco attorney, Christopher Dolan.

    The men complained to senior managers but the company ignored their claims, Dolan said.

    The lawsuit accused FedEx Ground of failing to enforce its anti-discrimination policies.

    Testimony included workers who said they witnessed the harassment, Dolan said.

    Shoun was ordered to pay $1 million to the drivers as part of the compensatory damages award under a California law allowing individuals to be held personally liable for workplace harassment.

    Attempts by The Associated Press to reach Shoun on Saturday were unsuccessful.

    He remains employed by the company, but a spokesman declined to say whether Shoun is still in management.
  2. Very sound. Let those few lucky ones enjoy their windfalls.
    Look at Europe where the principle of punitive damages is unknown. Much higher corruption everywhere. These corrupt criminals - and judges - simply laugh at their token kiddie fines.

    The US has jury trials because its people don't trust their judges. (Judge Scalia)
  3. I did not understand what was so shameful about the whole thing? :confused:

    If it was proven in a court of law that the senior managers did not do anything, then there should be some kind of punishment.
  4. jem


    If the charges were proven my only concern is that the award is about 10 times to large.

    The irony is this may protect arabs from insults but it will be a lot harder for them to get jobs. Because we all know that the next time a terrorist bombing happens the least of their problems will be being called a camel jockey.
  5. Another reason for companies to avoid California. Managers too I guess. Who would want to be a supervisor, knowing that any minority with a grudge could file a lawsuit, pay off a couple of buddies to testify that they heard you use forbidden words, then have a jury of morons bankrupt you?

    As for this case, how can anyone say being called a couple of names remotely justifies this kind of damage award? I'd say $20,000 would have been a lot. What if the company negligently killed someone? What would the award be then? $100 billion?
  6. Don't you think the purpose of punitive damages is to punish? What is the use of handing down a fine if it really does not hurt?

    I think the purpose is to discourage people from using racial and ethnic slurs on their coworkers and making the work place less hostile for minorities. Large fines force companies to enforce non discriminatory policies rigorously because they know if they don't.. they will be hurt where it hurts most... their wallets.

    Good job by the jury and judge :D :D :D
  7. OK, here is the problem. The company already had an anti-discrimination policy. It in no way condoned the alleged name-calling. What good does it do to punish the company for something they already prohibited? Apparently the company looked into the claims and concluded there was no evidence to support them. What were they supposed to do? Just fire the manager because some employees claimed he called them names, when the manager denied it, other managers denied it and there was no direct proof of it?

    I don't condone racial and ethnic slurs, but people get called worse in the check out line at Safeway and somehow are able to hold their lives together. This award was grossly disproportionate to any real harm or anything else, except a mindless hostility to employers. In truth, the plaintiffs' attroneys would have probably preferred if the jury awarded them less, because this award will put a lot of pressure on the appellate courts to overturn it.
  8. These ridiculous verdicts are crushing the capitalistic spirit. Capable men who would be building productive enterprises... are 'shrugging' instead, producing nothing and employing no one.

    When any parasitic moron and his ambulance chasing lawyer can confiscate the fruits of your lifelong labor... why fucking bother?
  9. Excessive litigation is the biggest risk facing this country- IMO more serious than terrorism.

    It is the main reason why small caps have out-performed large caps over the past few years. The tort attorneys don't bother suing the little guys.
  10. Ricter


    You bother because you're not a pantywaist. You know you live and work in an environment that is nothing at all like the sanitized fantasy world of Rand's. So you do your best anyway. And you don't worry about the other guy getting some of yours, because you already have gotten enough. Much more than enough.

    Oh boohoo, if only I could go out and hike on these beautiful trails, what glorious thoughts I would have. But all these damn blood-sucking mosquitos! It's crushing my spirit. Whatever will I do?!

    #10     Jun 6, 2006