Brenda Lee’s $6.2 Million Verdict Overturned!!!

The California Court of Appeals, 2nd District, yesterday reversed one of the most celebrated fire service discrimination cases of the decade. LA City Firefighter Brenda Lee claimed she was harassed and discriminated against based on her race, gender and sexual orientation. She obtained a $6.2 million jury verdict in 2007.

The court ruling handed down on Thursday, February 18, 2010, held that Lee failed to pursue administrative remedies available to her. Lee’s law suit was one of a number of law suits against LA City FD that led one publication to issue the headline “Lawsuit Sweepstakes at LAFD”.

Additional details.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
  • John K. Murphy

    I think that this ruling demonstrates that departments need to have a strong and valid internal system and policies for employees to register valid complaints and that those complaints need to be resolved by the department. This case was removed to a lower court for further review and they may (but not likely) disagree with the CA Court of Appeals and provide some financial recourse. What does this do for the plaintiff? Can she file under a different cause of action or is her action time barred? Stay tuned.

  • KARMA

    KARMA!

  • ukfbbuff

    Six years to overturn the initial verdict?

    The "Wheel's of justice do seem to be turning slowly".

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