Prince Lobel Defeats the Odds

December 12, 2007

Six plaintiffs fail to establish gender discrimination

Employers should not be quick to settle cases just because the initial odds seem stacked against them.  In a recent case, Prince Lobel defended Paul Revere Transportation, LLC and ten male supervisors against claims by six female former employees, each of whom claimed that she was subjected to gender discrimination.  Prince Lobel attorneys proved that, with the right facts, juries can get beyond first impressions created by "me too" evidence. 

In the case, decided on November 7, 2007, a Middlesex County Superior Court jury returned a take-nothing verdict in favor of the defendants.  Attorneys Walter B. Prince, Laurie F. Rubin and Joseph L. Edwards, Jr. tried the case on behalf of Paul Revere.

In the lawsuit, filed in September 2001, Plaintiffs Geraldine Conley, Diane DiFazio, Maria Minchella, Margaret Moulaison, Denise Regan and Lavetta Whitfield alleged that they were subjected to gender discrimination and retaliation.  Among their claims, the women contended that they received inferior equipment and were subjected to greater discipline than male bus drivers who worked for the company.  The plaintiffs sought compensatory and punitive damages against the company, in addition to attorney fees and costs.  

After a five-week trial in Middlesex County Superior Court before Judge Nancy Staffier Holtz, the jury found in favor of Paul Revere and the male supervisors on all counts.  

"I’m very proud of our work on behalf of Paul Revere," said Partner Walter Prince.  "We’re pleased that the jury took into account all of the evidence presented in the case, and found there was no basis to the allegations against our clients.  Paul Revere is sensitive to the diverse mix represented by its employees, and carefully follows all appropriate laws concerning employment practices."  Pointing out that there was heightened concern because the case involved six separate plaintiffs, Prince added, "The jury was able to look beyond the fact that six women were each claiming gender discrimination and determine that there was no merit to the allegations.  These types of cases are difficult ones for employers in general, and this one was especially difficult because Paul Revere faced potential liability for each of the women’s claims."  

This is the second jury victory for Prince Lobel’s employment law group during the past six months.   

In the earlier case, attorneys Walter Prince and Joseph L. Edwards, Jr. represented the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) against claims by a man named Johnny Junior, a high level manager on the Orange Line, who claimed that he was subjected to race and age discrimination and retaliation.  Junior, who is African American, was 54 years old at the time of trial.  Junior alleged that he was denied a promotion and otherwise subjected to different terms and conditions of employment.  

The case was tried in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts.  On June 8, 2007, the jury returned a verdict for the MBTA on all counts.  After the jury verdict, the MBTA sought and was awarded expenses from the plaintiff amounting to $8,620.97.

For more information about these jury verdicts, please contact Walter Prince at 617 456 8003.

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