The first of three Nebraska firefighters who are suing the City of Lincoln, has been awarded $1.2 million by a federal court jury. Captain Troy Hurd claims he was subjected to a series of disciplinary charges by ranking officers after he complained about instructors harassing recruits on the basis of their gender and national origin. Besides being disciplined, Captain Hurd claims he was passed over for promotion on account of his complaints.
Captain Hurd filed suit in 2016 against the City of Lincoln, Public Safety Director Tom Casady, Fire Chief John Huff, Assistant Chief Pat Borer, Division Chief Roger Bonin, retired Battalion Chief Jeanne PashaJek, and Battalion Chief Leo Benes. Among the allegations were that he was retaliated against for reporting an instructor for telling a female recruit of Kurdish decent to “[g]o sit the fuck down!” and asking her “Do you need a fucking interpreter?”
The jury returned its verdict yesterday after deliberating since last Friday. The trial in US District Court in Omaha took two weeks.
Two other Lincoln firefighters have discrimination suits pending against the city. Captain Brian Giles filed suit in 2017 alleging he was retaliated against after reporting sexual harassment of female subordinates. Firefighter Amanda Benson filed suit in 2018 alleging she was sexually harassed.
Here is a copy of the jury’s Verdict Form. Hurd v Lincoln VERDICT FORM