Defense verdict in claim of racial discrimination by city librarian. Los Angeles County.
- Case Name: Nora Cofie v. City of Los Angeles
- Court and Case Number: Los Angeles Superior Court /BC 441369
- Date of Verdict or Judgment: Monday, May 20, 2013
- Date Action was Filed: Thursday, July 08, 2010
- Type of Action: Discrimination, Racial, Emotional Distress, Employment, Harassment
- Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Richard L. Fruin
- Plaintiffs: Nora Cofie
- Defendants: City of Los Angeles
- Type of Result: Jury Verdict
- Gross Verdict or Award: Defense verdict.
- Trial or Arbitration Time: 6 days
- Jury Deliberation Time: 22 minutes
- Jury Polls: 9-3
- Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: None.
- Attorney for the Plaintiff: Ernest Franceschi, Los Angeles.
- Attorney for the Defendant: Los Angeles City Attorney's Office by Douglas Lyon and Jorge Otano, Los Angeles.
- Plaintiff’s Medical Experts: None
- Defendant's Medical Experts: None
- Plaintiff's Technical Experts: None
- Defendant's Technical Experts: None
Facts and Background
- Facts and Background:
Plaintiff Nora Cofie worked at the City Library beginning in 2001. She was terminated in 2010. She has not worked since she lost her job. Plaintiff filed a lawsuit based on racial discrimination. Plaintiff's supervisors were black and coworkers were of various ethnicity.
- Plaintiff's Contentions:
That she was terminated because of her African heritage, and was constantly harassed based upon her race while working for the City Library. Plaintiff testified she was called "African Monkey" on at least 2,000 occasions, and that coworkers and supervisors would call her "boogie dancer" and other racially-charged comments on at least 5,000 occasions. That she reported the harassment on three occasions but the City refused to take action.
- Defendant's Contentions:
That plaintiff never reported the comments. She complained only of general workplace personality conflicts, and she continually yelled at, screamed at, and/or harassed her coworkers. That plaintiff refused to perform her work duties, would cause problems at work, called in sick each week, and generally gamed the system until she was terminated when she refused to show up for her own Skelly termination hearing.
Injuries and Other Damages
- Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Plaintiff claimed the harassment caused her to slip and fall and injure her leg, and she limped during trial, three years after the incident. She claimed she suffered severe emotional distress which prevented her from ever working again.
- Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: No evidence offered.
- Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: No evidence offered.
- Special Damages Claimed - Past Lost Earnings: No evidence offered.
- Special Damages Claimed - Future Lost Earnings: No evidence offered.