Monday, November 30, 2009

Pennsylvania Jury Awards Scientists $6.2 Million

Marcus v. PQ Corp.

Two scientists were awarded a total of $6.2 million (not including attorneys' fees), by a federal jury in Pennsylvania. The plaintiffs alleged that they were laid off due to their ages, instead of other, non-discriminatory criteria. The total is suprising for a few reasons. First, the plaintiffs were awarded approximately $900,000 in back pay. The layoffs occurred in 2005, so the plaintiffs were able to recover for back pay lost as a result of finding other work for less pay or for not finding work at all. These amounts were doubled because the jury found that the discrimination was willful. The plaintiffs also received front pay damages in the amounts of $1,100,000, presumptively as compensation for the time they would have worked past the date of the verdict had they not been wrongfully discharged. Add to that amount emotional-distress damages of $1.5 and $2 million each to get to a total award of $6.2 million. (via