$3 million dollar verdict for sexual orientation discrimination and disability discrimination

Hope v. California Youth Authority, (2006)

Plaintiff’s jury verdict and award in the amount of nearly $3 million for sexual orientation discrimination and disability discrimination.

The plaintiff in this case was a cook in the prison system, working hard, but was relentlessly teased, bullied, and harassed on the basis of his sexual orientation and HIV-positive status. The case was taken to trial in 2003 and was tried before a Los Angeles jury. Following the award in favor of plaintiff, the defendant made multiple post-trial motions to try to get around the substantial verdict. All such motions were promptly denied.

Defendant took the case up on appeal, and in September 2005, the Court of Appeal rendered a unanimous verdict in favor of Plaintiff, sending a resounding message to California employers that they cannot turn a blind eye to discrimination in the workplace. 134 Cal.App.4th 577.