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June 10, 2013
A federal court awarded over $1.6 million in damages and fees in a race discrimination case against Fulton County. Some long overdue justice was delivered after a five day jury trial in the Northern District of Georgia. In a case handled by Parks, Chesin & Walbert attorneys, a federal court entered judgment totaling just over $1,650,000 for the plaintiff in the case of Douglas Carl v. Fulton County and Thomas Andrews (former County Manager). The jury found that Mr. Carl had been passed over for a promotion because he is a white male, in violation of Title VII and the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
According to the evidence, in April of 2007 former Fulton County Manager Thomas Andrews denied Mr. Carl a promotion as the Director of the Department of Human Services position because the powers-that-be in the County were determined to fill that position with an African-American female. The former County Manager admitted to referring to employees as “black marbles” and “white marbles” in the context of personnel decisions and to telling his Assistant County Manager that Emma Darnell would not accept Mr. Carl as the Director. Mr. Carl’s former boss testified to the jury that she had been told by her boss, Deputy County Manager Kenneth Chadwell, that Emma Darnell noted that she had “too many white boys” in the Human Services Department and that Ms. Darnell wanted a black female for the job.
The jury, made of up two women and four men, deliberated for about 5 hours before reaching its verdict. The jury agreed with Mr. Carl that race discrimination was the basis for the promotion decision. The jury initially returned a verdict of $300,000 for Mr. Carl’s lost wages. After post-trial motions, the Court awarded another 1.3 million dollars for Mr. Carl’s lost pension, interest, and attorney’s fees.
The plaintiff was represented by Parks, Chesin & Walbert partners Andrew Y. Coffman and J. Matthew Maguire, and associate Jennifer Coalson. The case is Carl v. Fulton County and Thomas Andrews, 1:07-cv-01812 (N.D.Ga), before Magistrate Judge Alan J. Baverman.