Press Releases

New York City Bar Legal Referral Service Panel Members Win $6.2 Million Verdict in Pregnancy Discrimination Lawsuit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Eric Friedman
(212) 382-6754

Kathryn Inman
(212) 382-6656

New York City Bar Legal Referral Service Panel Members Win $6.2 Million Verdict in Pregnancy Discrimination Lawsuit

New York, September 16, 2015 – Three women were awarded $6.2 million on Tuesday in a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit in Bronx County Supreme Court. The women were represented by Scott A. Lucas and Steven M. Sack, two attorneys retained through the New York City Bar Legal Referral Service (LRS), a program that refers screened and qualified lawyers to the public.

After a one month trial, the jury in Santana, et al. v. G.E.B. Medical Management, Inc., et al., 305261-08 awarded the three plaintiffs $4.5 million in compensatory damages, $181,000 in lost wages, and $1.5 million in punitive damages. The Honorable Alison Y. Tuitt presided over the trial.

“The verdict sends a message to all employers that they can’t harass and fire women for being pregnant,” said Lucas, the plaintiff’s lead trial counsel. Sack, their co-trial counsel, said, “We fought this battle for eight long years, and truth and justice prevailed.”

According to the lawsuit, the three plaintiffs worked as administrative employees and were treated as valued members of the team; however, that changed when the employer learned they were pregnant or suspected of being pregnant, and the women were then harassed, falsely accused of poor performance, and fired.

After contacting numerous attorneys who declined to take the case, the plaintiffs contacted the LRS in 2007, which referred them to Lucas and Sack. They were also the lawyers who won a landmark decision from the New York Court of Appeals in 2008 in Samiento v. World Yacht, Inc. on behalf of waiters who were denied the 20% “service charge” commonly added to the bill in lieu of a voluntary tip. That decision made it much harder for restaurants to keep gratuities intended for their wait staffs. That was another case referred through the LRS.

The LRS, a nonprofit sponsored by the New York City Bar Association and the New York County Lawyers Association, was established in 1946 and has up to 100,000 points of contact with the public per year, directing them to experienced lawyers in a wide range of legal fields. The LRS can be reached at 212-626-7373 (212-626-7374 for Spanish speakers) or www.citybarlegalreferral.org.

About the Association
The New York City Bar Association, since its founding in 1870, has been dedicated to maintaining the high ethical standards of the legal profession, promoting reform of the law and access to justice, and providing service to the profession and the public. The Association, through its 24,000 members, continues to work for political, legal and social reform, while implementing innovative means to help the disadvantaged. Protecting the public’s welfare remains one of the Association’s highest priorities. www.nycbar.org