La. Supreme Court rules in favor of former UL Lafayette police officer

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NEW ORLEANS, La. (KLFY) The Louisiana Supreme Court agreed with a former longtime University of Louisiana at Lafayette Police Department employee who alleged he was discriminated against because of his age.

In a ruling Friday, a jury awarded James Robinson $367,918.

Robinson retired in May, 2011 at age 66 with a rank of major and second in command.

Court records show he had worked for the department for 40 years.

KLFY reviewed a copy of the court’s ruling which stated that Robinson claimed he was forced to retire due to UL-Lafayette Police Chief Joey Sturm’s elimination of Robinson’s job duties and the chief’s harassment of him.

“We find that the nature and frequency of remarks directed at Major Robinson, which were clearly based upon age, while not necessarily determinative of discrimination, are certainly probative,” La. Supreme Court Judge Jimmy Genovese said.

“These age-based remarks, which were heard by the jury, along with the other evidence presented by Major Robinson, provide a reasonable and legal basis for the conclusions reached by the jury.”

Following the verdict, UL Lafayette argued that the jury’s verdit of $367,918 was excessive and the court agreed.  Judges then awarded Robinson $207,000 stating Robinson testified that he had intended to work for three more years.

He was earning $69,000 a year at the time of his retirement, so three year’s worth of salary at that amount would come to $207,000, the high court said.

The final ruling was 6-1 in favor of Robinson.

 

 

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