A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge has refused to overturn a $1 million jury verdict in favor of a black firefighter who claims he was harassed and retaliated against by the Montebello Fire Department.
Vernon Creswell filed suit in 2013 claiming he had been the victim of race discrimination, racial harassment and retaliation while serving as a firefighter in Montebello. Among the allegations in the complaint, Creswell claims a battalion chief referred to him using the “N-word”, and he was passed over for promotion after he complained.
In July, a unanimous superior court jury awarded him $185,150 in lost wages and $750,000 for emotional distress on the racial harassment and retaliation claims. The jury rejected his allegation of race discrimination.
Today, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Allen White upheld the jury’s award. The city had asked Judge White to overrule the jury.