Court Reviews Firefighter’s Suit For Workplace Harassment, Part 18 of 19

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this workplace/sex discrimination case and its proceedings.)

Nowhere does Dr. X. challenge the Retirement Board’s January of 2005 decision to retire plaintiff. There simply isn’t any testimony relating to the decision of the Retirement Board.

Dr. X. was also critical in establishing that the fitness-for-duty evaluators acted unprofessionally (not just incompetently) which bolstered plaintiff’s argument that the evaluators and the City had a tacit understanding that the goal was to get rid of Mr. Carter by way of the evaluation. Finally, the fact that there was no reasonable basis to conclude that plaintiff was “unfit” at the time the evaluation was initially scheduled, but that Dr. Z. found Mr. Carter was unfit anyway, despite normal psychological testing, further buttressed plaintiffs arguments that he was set up. Again, this did not attack the decision of the Retirement Board, which was to retire plaintiff.


The jury’s verdict on future lost earnings was completely consistent with the testimony at trial. Had the City not referred Mr. Carter to what the jury found was a retaliatory and discriminatory fitness-for-duty evaluation, he would have returned to work and continued on with his career as a firefighter. There would never have been a Retirement Board Hearing. In calculating plaintiffs damages, plaintiffs expert, Dr. Y., assumed that plaintiff was not sent to a fitness-for-duty evaluation in February of 2004, and instead returned to work. He then assumed that plaintiff worked until the age of 65 and calculated future wage loss on that basis.

It is also significant to note that the jury found that the City’s decision to apply for Mr. Carter’s disability retirement was an act of retaliation and discrimination. Obviously, if the City did not pursue a retaliatory and discriminatory retirement application, there would have been no Retirement Board Hearing. Instead, plaintiff would have returned to work and continued to earn his pay and benefits as a firefighter well into the future.

The proximate cause of plaintiff’s harm was the illegal fitness for duty referral and the illegal retirement application. Without these acts, plaintiff would have resumed his career as a firefighter. The Retirement Board never becomes an issue. This is consistent with the jury’s verdict, in which it specifically found that Mr. Carter was harmed in the amount set forth by his economic expert. (See Part 19 of 19.)

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

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