Nebraska City Settles Second of Three Harassment Suits for $500k

The City of Lincoln, Nebraska has settled a second lawsuit brought by an officer alleging retaliation for reporting harassment of female firefighters. Captain Brian Giles will be receiving $500,000 in settlement of his federal lawsuit that claimed he was passed over for promotion to battalion chief on account of his having reported sexual harassment, and his having supported the accounts of sexual harassment by Captain Troy Hurd during an internal investigation.

Captain Hurd was awarded $1.2 million by a federal court jury last year. He claimed that after he reported that instructors harassed recruits on the basis of their gender and national origin, he was passed over for promotion.

According to the Lincoln Journal Star, Captain Giles will receive $279,671, and his attorney $220,329. Under the terms of the settlement, the city does not admit liability or wrongdoing in the matter. Giles’ attorney, Kelly Brandon, was quoted as saying:

  • Captain Giles did precisely what the City expected of him by reporting the sexual harassment and discrimination of firefighter Amanda Benson and the retaliation against Captain Troy Hurd.
  • “Due to the terms of the settlement agreement, Captain Giles can never join the ranks of LFR administration, which is regrettable considering his 30 plus years of experience, leadership, knowledge and superior qualifications.

A third lawsuit by Amanda Benson is still pending. More on the story.

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.
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