Judge Reverses Employment Discrimination Jury Verdict In Favor Of City

gavel long beach court

A Los Angeles Superior Court Judge today reversed a jury verdict, finding that no evidence supported Plaintiff’s claim of employment discrimination.

Damien Massey was a probation dispatcher in the City’s emergency communications center. Massey, who is African American, claimed in his civil lawsuit that he did not complete his probationary employment with the City because the City discriminated against him on the basis of race.

During the two week trial, the evidence showed that Massey was unable to complete all of the tasks required of a police dispatcher handling emergency calls, despite being given addition time to complete his probationary period, and despite given a variety of trainers. Massey maintained that his dismissal from the dispatch center was actually just a pretext for discrimination.

While the judge initially allow the matter to go to the jury, which found for Massey and awarded him approximately $700,000, during a post-trial motions heard today, the Judge found that Plaintiff had actually failed to present any evidence from which the jury could concluded that the City’s actions were not in good faith, or that the City’s actions were motivated by Massey’s race. As such, the judge reversed the jury’s verdict, and ordered Judgment in favor of the City.

The case is Massey v City of Long Beach, Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. BC518178. The case was tried by Deputy City Attorneys Michele Levinson and LaTasha Corry