Case Law – Employment Discrimination Damages

This table includes cases, organized/searchable across multiple data points, in which courts assessed the damages properly awardable to employment discrimination plaintiffs. Unless noted otherwise, this firm does not represent any of the parties in the cited cases. This is not legal advice and is for informational purposes only. Always consult original source material (the decisions themselves) before using any of this information for any purpose. For more information, please see our standard Disclaimer.

CiteCourtDateJudge(s)LiabilityDamages TypeInitial Award ByInitial Award AmountFinal Award AmountAmount of Court Reduction / Remittitur (Initial Award Minus Final Award)Notes / Keywords
Abel v. Town Sports Int'l, LLC, No. 09-cv-10388, 2012 WL 6720919 (SDNY 2012)SDNY18-Dec-2012Freeman (M.J.)Hostile Work EnvironmentEmotional DistressJury$300,000$100,000$200,000Remittitur warranted. Under Lore v. City of Syracuse, 670 F.3d 127 (2d Cir.2012), $300k jury award shocked the judicial conscience. Even $125k would be excessive, since compensable distress does not include any distress arising from termination.
Albunio v. City of N.Y., 889 NYS2d 4 (NY App. Div. 1 Dept. Nov. 5, 2009)NYAppDiv15-Nov-2009Mazzarelli, Saxe, Catterson, DeGrasse, Abdus-SalaamDiscrimination / Perceived Sexual OrientationEmotional DistressJury$491,706$491,706$0"Sorrenti's treating psychiatrist, Dr. Salvatore Ambrosino, testified that the cause of Sorrenti's major reactive depression was that he was being stereotyped as a pedophile. Sorrenti testified to the damage to his reputation and professional career caused by his being perceived as a gay man and stereotyped as a child molester. The record showed that he endured anxiety and panic attacks, experienced suicidal ideation, and took numerous medications to combat depression and anxiety. While Sorrenti had been diagnosed with a reactive depression following an incident with another police officer in 1999, the jury was entitled to credit Ambrosino's testimony that the events of 2002–2003, and in particular being stereotyped as unfit to be around children, was the cause of the current reactive depression."
Saleh, Osama Hazza v. Pretty Girl, Inc. et al, No. 09-CV-1769 (RER), 2022 WL 4078150 (EDNY Sept. 6, 2022)EDNY6-Sep-2022Reyes (M.J.)Hostile Work Environment (Race)Emotional DistressJury$100,000$100,000$0Garden variety / significant category. As a result of harassment and physical assault, plaintiff suffered weight loss, withdrawing from social events and family activities, trouble sleeping and bad dreams, increased impatience, sadness, nervousness and anxiety, and to an irrational fear of Black people; while plaintiff did not provide testimony from a medical professional to corroborate his emotional distress, he testified that he saw a psychiatrist in Yemen to seek mental health treatment; D psychiatric expert testified that P expressed anger and resentment but showed no signs of clinical depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but sugested on cross-examination that an individual in P's shoes who underwent similar circumstances could have developed PTSD. P presented his own testimony and the tesimony of corroborating witnesses.
Anderson v. YARP Restaurant, Inc., 1997 WL 27043 (SDNY Jan. 23, 1997)SDNY23-Jan-1997Ellis (M.J.)Hostile Work Environment Sexual HarassmentEmotional DistressJury$65,000$65,000$0"Here, plaintiff presented testimony that she was subject to sexual harassment for over six months and that she suffered sufficient anguish from her experiences at the Flagship to cause her to seek counselling from a therapist. Plaintiff's therapist, DePaola, testifying as an expert witness, further testified that plaintiff suffered from emotional trauma-- including a sense of powerlessness, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, and difficulty maintaining employment--as a result of the harassment she experienced at the Flagship. Such testimony was buttressed by plaintiff's own testimony that, for at least three years following her employment at the Flagship, she was unable to maintain employment, had trouble sleeping, and continued to fear she would be subjected to harassment again."
Anderson v. YARP Restaurant, Inc., 1997 WL 27043 (SDNY Jan. 23, 1997)SDNY23-Jan-1997Ellis (M.J.)Hostile Work Environment Sexual HarassmentPunitive Jury$50,000$50,000$0Gore factors: (1) Highly-reprehensible conduct (unwanted touching, demands for sexual relations); repeated complaints; harasser not reprimanded; P told her choice was to endure harasser's behavior or leave; (2) ratio of punitive to compensatory was 3:1; (3) $50k met statutory cap.
Antoine v. Brooklyn Maids 26, Inc. et al, 19-cv-5676, 2020 WL 5752186 (E.D.N.Y. Sept. 26, 2020)EDNY26-Sep-2020MatsumotoHostile Work Environment Sexual HarassmentEmotional DistressCourt / Default$200,000$200,000$0"Egregious" case. Conduct "tantamount to rape"; choking, threatened to kill P; P feared for her and her family's safety; called police; obtained orer of protection; stress, loss of sleep, weight loss, night mares, fear, paranoia; lack of corroboration; P presented an affidavit from a domestic violence counselor, but the affidavit lacked diagnostic information about P's condition.
Antoine v. Brooklyn Maids 26, Inc. et al, 19-cv-5676, 2020 WL 5752186 (E.D.N.Y. Sept. 26, 2020)EDNY26-Sep-2020MatsumotoHostile Work Environment Sexual HarassmentPunitiveCourt / Default$375,000$375,000$0"This award falls within the broad range of punitive damage awards ordered in like cases. … [B]y defaulting, defendant has surrendered the opportunity to demonstrate that his financial circumstances should constrain the amount of any such award."
Automatic Meter Reading Corp. v. New York City, 63 Misc 3d 1211(A), 2019 NY Slip Op 50464(U) (Sup Ct, NY County 2019)NY Supreme NY28-Feb-2019HaglerSexual Harassment / Hostile Work Environment; Constructive DischargeEmotional DistressNYCCHR$200,000$200,000$0Victim testimony, corroborated by medical records, in line with comparable cases.
Becerril v. E. Brx NAACP, 2009 WL 2611950 (SDNY Aug. 18, 2019)SDNY18-Aug-2009Fox (M.J.)Pregnancy Discrimination (Termination)Emotional DistressCourt / Default$50,000$50,000$0$250k rejected. Low end of the range for "substantial" distress claims; P submitted personal affidavit and documentation from primary care physician and pharmacy; but P's "physical and emotional symptoms dissipated soon after she regained employment, and during her period of unemployment, her symptoms of physical and emotional distress lasted a few months, during which her symptoms improved with medication."
Becerril v. E. Brx NAACP, 2009 WL 2611950 (SDNY Aug. 18, 2019)SDNY18-Aug-2009Fox (M.J.)Pregnancy Discrimination (Termination)Front PayCourt / Default$10,000$10,000$0Front pay of one year, in the amount of the difference between Becerril's current salary and what she would have earned had she not been discharged from her position
Belizaire v. RAV Investigative & Sec. Servs. Ltd., 12–CV–8268, 2014 WL 6611560 (SDNY Nov. 21, 2014)SDNY21-Nov-2014Oetken (adopting R&R by Freeman (M.J.))Age, National Origin DiscriminationEmotional DistressCourt / Default$30,000$30,000$0Garden Variety case. "Plaintiff has offered some, although slight, evidence of treatment by a physician for stress and a doctor's opinion that his symptoms appear linked to workplace mistreatment. The nature and timing of the medical treatment sought by Plaintiff support the conclusion that it was causally connected to his wrongful termination and the financial difficulties that would logically flow from it. (See Tr., at 30–31 (Plaintiff testifying, inter alia, that, after he was fired, he had no money to pay rent).) At the same time, both Plaintiff's own description of his emotional state and the one physician's letter he has submitted are *367 fairly general, and this Court is unable to gauge from Plaintiff's evidence the duration or severity of his emotional distress."
Belton v. Lal Chicken, Inc., 138 AD3d 609 (NY App. Div. 1 Dept. 2016)NYAppDiv126-Apr-2016Sweeny, Saxe, Moskowitz, Gische, WebberHostile Work Environmnet Sexual HarassmentLost EarningsJury$20,000$20,000$0No discussion/analysis.
Belton v. Lal Chicken, Inc., 138 AD3d 609 (NY App. Div. 1 Dept. 2016)NYAppDiv126-Apr-2016Sweeny, Saxe, Moskowitz, Gische, WebberHostile Work Environment Sexual HarassmentEmotional DistressJury$300,000$300,000$0Reversing trial court's determination (2015 WL 4197952 (Sup. Ct. Bx. Cty. June 30, 2015)) that $300k was excessive. No discussion/analysis by appellate court. Per briefing included w/ trial court decision: P testified that she withdrew from her friends, schoolmates and family and no longer wanted to be around people during the 6 month period of the harassment; had episodesof uncontrollable crying; self esteem, confidence and motivation were lowered; school work suffered and forced to leave high school in the middle of her senior year; attitude impacted towards and enjoyment of life and enjoyment of sexual relations; gained weight to make herself less attractive to harasser; avoided driving by workplace because it upset her; treating psychologist observed P crying and shaking while watching video of harassment and concluded that P was suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); P embarrassed by harassment.
Berdini v. Nova Security Group, 2015 WL 5540735 (EDNY 2015)EDNY2-Sep-2015Pollack (MJ)Discrimination (Perceived Conviction Record) - TerminationEmotional DistressCourt / Default$30,000$30,000$0"Here, apart from plaintiff's claim that his doctor “increased” his dosage of Xanax, there has been no evidence presented that the plaintiff sought psychological treatment or any medical evidence offered that would warrant finding the plaintiff suffered other than garden-variety emotional distress. Based on plaintiff's testimony, the Court respectfully recommends that plaintiff be awarded $30,000 in emotional distress damages."
Bianco v. Flushing Hospital Medical Center, 18702-04, 2009 WL 2984892, 2009 NY Slip Op. 32086(U) (NY Sup. Ct. Qns. Cty. 2009), aff'd 79 A.D.3d 777 (NY App. Div. 2 Dept. 2010)NY Supreme Queens11-Sep-2009FlahertySexual HarassmentEmotional DistressJury$13,500,000$750,000$12,750,000Remittitur warranted. Evidence (expert and lay testimony) established that P sufered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), major depressive disorder, flashbacks, anxiousness, and related emotional problems attributable to alleged harasser's conduct; while damage done to P was "serious and dismaying," the jury's award ($8m past, $5.5m future, ED), when considered in light of comparable awards, was "unprecedented."
Bianco v. Flushing Hospital Medical Center, 18702-04, 2009 WL 2984892, 2009 NY Slip Op. 32086(U) (NY Sup. Ct. Qns. Cty. 2009), aff'd 79 A.D.3d 777 (NY App. Div. 2 Dept. 2010)NY Supreme Queens11-Sep-2009FlahertySexual HarassmentPunitiveJury$1,500,000$0$1,500,000Jury's conclusion that defendant hospital's inaction in relation to alleged sexual harassment was "malicious or willful" was not supported by a "valid line of reasoning" and was therefore "utterly irrational."
Bick v. City of New York, No. 95-8781, 1998 WL 190283 (SDNY 1998)SDNY21-Apr-1998Dolinger (MJ)Gender DiscriminationEmotional DistressJury$750,000$100,000$650,000Remittitur warranted. "Severe" (non-garden variety) emotional distress; anxiety, depression, feelings of powerlessness, humiliated, vulnerable, crying at work, hysterical, tremendous sense of loss, disrupted sleep patterns, weight gain, suicidal ideation; received treatment from therapist and sought treatment from a psychiatrist, who prescribed anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medication; lesser amount warranted in light of comparison to other cases/verdicts.
Binder v. Long Island Lighting Co., 847 F.Supp. 1007 (EDNY 1994), aff'd57 F.3d 193 (2d Cir. 1995)EDNY29-Mar-1994MishlerAge DiscriminationEmotional Distress ("Pain & Suffering")Jury$497,738$5,000$492,738Remittitur warranted. "The fact that the jury reached the very precise amount of $497,738 calls the basis of the award into question. The number looks to be the result of specific calculation; yet the jury had no evidence on which to base such a calculation. This award, too, must be set aside, and a new trial is awarded on the issue of compensatory damages for pain and suffering. In the alternative, the court orders that the award of damages for pain and suffering be remitted to $5,000."
Borja-Fierro v. Girozentrale Vienna Bank, 91-cv-8743, 1994 WL 240360 (SDNY 1994)SDNY27-May-1994Metznerage, race, and national origin discrimination; retaliationEmotional DistressJury$180,500$15,000$165,500Remittitur warranted based on review of comparable cases and "vague and conclusory" testimony re: mental anguish. (Jury award was $20.5k for harassment and $160k for post-dismissal harassment.) P was the only witness as to his mental anguish; testimony was "brief, not particularly strong, and included a single reference to a visit to a psychologist" relating to "a combination of the problem [he] had in this previous job and also because of" a car accident.
Boutique Indus., Inc. v. NYSDHR, 228 A.D.2d 171, 643 N.Y.S.2d 986 (1st Dep't 1996)NYAppDiv14-Jun-1996Rosenberger, Wallach, Kupferman, Williams, MazzarelliAge Discrimination; RetaliationEmotional DistressNYSDHR$150,000$100,000$50,000No discussion/analysis by First Department; noting only that the award of $150k "as compensatory damages for the mental anguish and humiliation" was excessive. Granting petition pursuant to Executive Law § 298 reducing NYSDHR's 3/21/1995 determination/award of $150k compensatory damages to $100k.
Bouveng v. NYG Capital LLC et al, 2016 WL 1312139, 175 F.Supp.3d 280 (SDNY 2016)SDNY31-Mar-2016GardepheSexual Harassment (Quid Pro Quo); RetaliationEmotional DistressJury$500,000$150,000$350,000Remittitur warranted. Garden variety case. Submission to boss' sexual advances made P feel used, weak, ashamed, more stressed than usual. Termination caused P to experience shock and to be angry, upset, and stressed. However, $500k was excessive, viewed in light of comparable cases. Emotional distress was brief and transitory; unsupported by medical corroboration; P failed to seek mental health treatment (other than once, several months before trial); no long-term emotional distress.
Brady v. Wal–Mart Stores, Inc., 455 F.Supp.2d 157 (EDNY 2006), aff'd, 531 F.3d 127 (2d Cir. 2008)EDNY29-Sep-2006Orenstein (M.J.)Disability Discrimination (cerebral palsy)PunitiveJury$5,000,000$300,000$4,700,000"[O]nce the jury found the existence of discriminatory animus, it could rationally have viewed as particularly egregious the attempt by Wal–Mart's employees to avert that finding through repeated denials of even knowing that Brady was disabled. Moreover, with the Consent Decree in evidence ... the jury was entirely justified in concluding that Wal–Mart had reason to know of its obligations under the ADA and could only have discriminated against Brady as the result of reckless or willful disregard of the law's requirements."
Brady v. Wal–Mart Stores, Inc., 455 F.Supp.2d 157 (EDNY 2006), aff'd, 531 F.3d 127 (2d Cir. 2008)EDNY29-Sep-2006Orenstein (M.J.)Disability Discrimination (cerebral palsy)Emotional DistressJury$2,500,000$600,000$1,900,000Remittitur warranted. Discrimination caused plaintiff "great suffering", lost interest in school, lost appetite, cried for no reason, unable to sleep, emotional outburst, total breakdown, referred to psychiatrist, diagnosed as suffering from generalized anxiety disorder and possible depresstion, psychotherapy, anti-anxiety drug (Buspar), pain & suffering was corroborated by family members and psychiatrist; however, court could not say that jury's award was "neither punitive nor arbitrary."
Bronx County Medical Group, P.C. v. Lassen, 23 A.D.2d 234 (NY App. Div. 1 Dept. 1996)NYAppDiv121-Nov-1996Wallach, Ross, Nardelli, Tom, MazzarelliGender Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, Hostile Work Environment Emotional DistressNYSDHR$250,000$25,000$225,000Complainant's testimony concerning her feelings of embarrassment, humiliation, inadequacy, together with her testimony concerning adverse physical effects of weight loss and inability to find comparable employment for almost two years as a result of the hostile work environment and discriminatory discharge supported a claim for mental anguish
Broome v. Biondi, 17 F.Supp.2d 211 (SDNY 1997)SDNY4-Nov-1997CarterHousing Discrimination (Race); denial of subletEmotional DistressJury$114,000$114,000$0Upholding $114k per plaintiff. Shannon Broome testified that she felt embarrassed and humiliated by the entire approval process and the ultimate denial of their sublet application, that she felt as if she were experiencing her “worst nightmare”; she was reduced to tears during board interview and again upon hearing the news that their sublet application had been rejected. Gregory Broome testified that he felt “angry” and “demoralized” by the hostile manner in which he and his wife were treated at the June 13 interview and that “[i]t was difficult for [his] feelings to go away”; described how he was especially humiliated that he had swallowed his pride and submitted to the board's interrogation during the June 13th interview without defending himself or his wife; stated that his confidence at work was affected by his “fear that clients would somehow not trust [his] advice after they met [him]”; Each of the Broomes testified that they had to pass the Beekman Hill House every day to reach a park to walk their dog and were reminded constantly of their emotional pain caused by the board's actions.
Bryer v. NYC Comm'n on Human Rights, 251 A.D.2d 2, 672 NYS2d 714 (App. Div. 1 Dept. 1998)NYAppDiv12-Jun-1998Sulivan, Milonas, Rosenberger, Nardelli, WilliamsHarassmentEmotional DistressNYCCHR$50,000$100,000-$50,000No discussion/analysis; merely refers to "the extent of complainant's mental suffering". Affirming NY Supreme Court's award of $100k (rejecting ALJ's $50k award).
Campbell v. Cellco Partnership, 10-9168, 2012 WL 3240223 (SDNY Aug. 6, 2012)SDNY6-Aug-2012ScheindlinRetaliationEmotional DistressJury$200,000$125,000$75,000Remittitur warranted. Plaintiff testified that he felt financially strained, had difficulty sleeping, was unnerved, and suffered a loss of dignity; no medical corroboration of plaintiff's testimony as to emotional distress or evidence of physical effects.
Caravantes v. 53rd St. Partners, LLC, 09-7821, 2012 WL 3631276 (SDNY 2012)SDNY23-Aug-2012PattersonSexual HarassmentEmotional DistressCourt / Bench Trial$150,000$150,000$0Rejecting $400k requested. P felt dirty/bad, wouldn't want to speak to anyone, felt dead inside, can no longer play soccer and hang out with friends, trouble sleeping, nightmares about harassment, affected marriage/family life, felt distant from wife and daughters, unable to have sexual relations on a regular basis, admitted ot hospital for a week with suicidal thoughts (a month before trial), testimony corroborated by wife and by licensed psychologist (Dr. Jessica Pearson), diagnosed with severe Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) (while P was also diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), court did not take this into consideration when assessing damages), appetite disturbances. While harassment fell into the "egregious" category, evidence indicated that P's condition is treatable and that he is currently working in a restaurant.
Carter v. Rosenberg & Estis, P.C., 1998 WL 150491 (SDNY 1998)SDNY31-Mar-1998CoteSexual Harassment, RetaliationEmotional DistressJury$75,000$15,000$60,000The evidence consisted largely of plaintiff’s testimony that after her firing she was “very upset” and “a mess,” and that she engaged in “uncontrollable crying.” While plaintiff also said that she participated for about one year in weekly treatment sessions with a “sexual harassment expert,” she “offered no testimony as to the emotions she experienced while attending the group sessions, or whether they had any beneficial impact on her mental state.” Plaintiff also “suffered minimal, if any, physical manifestations of her alleged mental anguish.”
Cavagnuolo v. Baker & McKenzie, 1993 WL 766865 (NYSDHR Dec. 17, 1993)NYSDHR17-Dec-1993WeikartDiscrimination - Disability (Kaposi's Sarcoma; AIDS); TerminationEmotional DistressNYSDHR$500,000$500,000$0Termination was "devastating"; loss of sense of belonging, worth; very upset; unable to sleep; sick to stomach; sleeping pills; mental anguish, depression, humiliation, demoralized.
Chisholm v Mem. Sloan-Kettering Cancer Ctr., 824 F. Supp. 2d 573 (SDNY 2011)SDNY4-Nov-2011MarreroRetaliationFront PayJury$263,985$102,546$161,4402 years of front pay. Rejecting request for front pay of ~8.5 years; award of no more than 2 years was warranted; amount calculated as 2 years of base salary, reduced to present value at 2% discount rate ($102,545.62).
Chisholm v. Mem. Sloan-Kettering Cancer Ctr., 824 F. Supp. 2d 573 (SDNY 2011)SDNY4-Nov-2011MarreroRetaliationPunitiveJury$1,000,000$50,000$950,000Remittitur warranted. While conduct was "reprehensible," it did not involve violence or the threat of violence, or racial slurs or other offensive language; $50k award represented a "significant financial hardship to an individual defendant."
Cioffi v. New York Community Bank, 465 F.Supp.2d 202 (EDNY 2006)EDNY18-Dec-2006SpattSexual Harassment, Retaliation, Constructive DischargePunitiveJury$195,000$195,000$0Ratio of back pay ($125k) and punitive ($195k) was less than 2:1, and therefore reasonable.
Crimmins v. Consol. Edison Co., 87-6971, 1989 WL 101915 (SDNY 1989)SDNY28-Sep-1989PattersonGender Discrimination (Wages); RetaliationEmotional DistressJury$175,000$87,500$87,500Remittitur warranted. There was "unrebutted testimony was that she suffered from sleeplessness, and was treated for high blood pressure, migraine headaches, and hives that resulted from her experiences at Con Edison" but the court found that the award "seems excessive" in light of awards in comparable cases.
Cross v. New York City Transit Auth., 417 F.3d 241 (2d Cir. 2005)CA22-Aug-2005Raggi, Hall, SotomayorRace, Age DiscriminationEmotional DistressJury$50,000$50,000$0No medical treatment; humiliation, anger, frustration, ridiculed, shame of demotion and fears of discussing with wife, lost interest in family activities, went to doctor more often to check blood pressure, sought spiritual counseling from fellow churgh member, angry, lashed out at people, depressed, snapped at wife and children and always in a state of anxiety because he felt that authority was being expercised against him in an arbitrary way and he was powerless to remedy the situation.
Dailey v. Societe Generale, 889 F.Supp. 108 (S.D.N.Y. 1995)SDNY20-Jun-1995KoeltlRetaliation (termination following complaints of gender/pay discrimination)Emotional DistressJury$100,000$100,000$0No meaningful discussion or analysis relating to $100k compensatory award for "pain, suffering, humiliation and mental anguish."
DeCurtis v Upward Bound Intern., Inc., 09-5378, 2011 WL 4549412 (SDNY 2011)SDNY27-Sep-2011SullivanSexual Harassment; RetaliationFront PayCourt / Default$236,085$236,085$0Animosity between plaintiff and defendants renders reinstatement not possible; awarding front pay of 5 years; $47,217 per year (difference b/t what P earned at defendant and what she currently earns).
DeCurtis v Upward Bound Intern., Inc., 09-5378, 2011 WL 4549412 (SDNY 2011)SDNY27-Sep-2011SullivanSexual Harassment; RetaliationPunitiveCourt / Default$75,000$75,000$0Rejecting $250k; while conduct arose above "mere negligence" $250k was ot justified; applying Gore factors; reviewing cases; noting Title VII $50k damages cap; noting that P did not suffer physical violence and was awarded compensatory damags and attorney fees.
DeCurtis v Upward Bound Intern., Inc., 09-5378, 2011 WL 4549412 (SDNY 2011)SDNY27-Sep-2011SullivanSexual Harassment; RetaliationEmotional DistressCourt / Default$100,000$100,000$0Requested $250k excessive. "Garden variety" claim; P in sworn declaration said she felt stressed, nervous, unable to sleep; dreaded going to work; felt sick each time harasser called her into his ofice; felt like she was going to have a nervous breakdown after moved out of her office; lost self-esteem and self-confidence; feared losing job and felt humiliated; when fired, she was shocked and scared; no medical evidence.
Del Valle v. Nat'l Basketball Assn., 42 F.Supp.2d 334 (SDNY 1999) (Stein)SDNY31-Mar-1999SteinGender DiscriminationPunitiveJury$7,000,000$250,000$6,750,000Punitive damages of 58.3 times the remitted compensatory damages ($100k lost wages + $20k ED) was too high. $250k was appropriate upon application of the factors articulated in BMW v. Gore, 517 U.S. 559 (1996) and Lee v. Edwards, 101 F.3d 805 (2d Cir.1996).
Del Valle v. Nat'l Basketball Assn., 42 F.Supp.2d 334 (SDNY 1999) (Stein)SDNY31-Mar-1999SteinGender DiscriminationEmotional DistressJury$750,000$20,000$730,000Remittitur. Only evidence of ED was plaintiff's own testimony. No evidence of doctor visits or treatment, of theduration of the mental anguish, or its severity or consequences.
Dickerson v. HBO & Co., 92-2758, 1995 WL 767193 (D.D.C.DDC21-Dec-1995KesslerRace Discrimination; RetaliationEmotional DistressJury$100,000$100,000$0Humiliation due to demotion and transfer; impact of new shift on time P could spend with children; effect on marital relationship.
Dotson v. City of Syracuse, 2011 WL 817499 (NDNY 2011), aff'd, 549 F.Appx. 6 (2d Cir. 2013)NDNY2-Mar-2011MordueRetaliation after P complained about pornography in the workplaceEmotional DistressJury$450,000$50,000$400,000Remittitur. $450k was unreasonable; court noted Ds eavesdropped on one telephone conversation and P knew phone conversations were being recorded. Accepting analysis and conclusions in Khan v. Hip Centralized Lab. Servs., Inc., 2008 WL 4283348 (E.D.N.Y. 2008).
Drice v. My Merch. Servs., LLC, 2016 WL 1266866 (EDNY 2016)EDNY4-Mar-2016Go (M.J.)Sexual HarassmentEmotional DistressCourt / Default$20,000$20,000$0Plaintiff stated that as a result of defendants’ conduct she “felt then, and still continue[s] to feel, offended, disturbed, and humiliated by [defendant’s] actions,” that she suffered “from severe anxiety and depression as a result of Defendants' sexual harassment and discrimination during [her] employment,” that “following this episode, there were days when she felt worthless and could not get out of bed,” and that the emotional distress affected her ability to eat and sleep. Plaintiff did not provide any medical or mental health records. While the court found plaintiff’s testimony credible, it noted that “despite the substantial distress she may have felt at the time, the duration of her employment was brief” and that she “did not testify to seeking professional help or having prolonged, severe symptoms.”
Duarte v. St. Barnabas Hospital, 15-CV-6824, 341 F.Supp.3d 306, 2018 WL 4440501 (SDNY 2018)SDNY17-Sep-2018GardepheDiscrimination - disability (hearing disability)PunitiveJury$750,000$125,000$625,000Remittitur warranted. PD assessed under NYCHRL. PD were warranted, but jury award ($750k) was excessive; court noted 6:1 ratio of PD award to remitted compensatory damages and NYCHRL max civil penalty of $250k, etc.
Duarte v. St. Barnabas Hospital, 15-CV-6824, 341 F.Supp.3d 306, 2018 WL 4440501 (SDNY 2018)SDNY17-Sep-2018GardepheDiscrimination - disability (hearing disability)Emotional DistressJury$624,000$125,000$499,000Remittitur warranted. Garden-variety case. "Vague and subjective complaints" of sleep issues/insomnia, lower self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and stomach aches and headaches; no medical corroboration
EEOC v. GRK Pas LLC d/b/a GRK Fresh Greek, 2020 WL 3073786 (S.D.N.Y. June 10, 2020)SDNY10-Jun-2020PreskaSexual Harassment / Hostile Work EnvironmentCompensatory, BackpayEEOC Consent Decree$32,000$32,000$0
EEOC v. Seapod Pawnbrokers, EEOC v. Seapod Pawnbrokers, Inc., EDNY 14-cv-4567 Dkt. # 82 (EDNY 2015)EDNY12-Feb-2015WeinsteinHostile Work Environment (sex, race, ethnicity)All / Unparsed (Backpay, Compensatory, Punitive)EEOC Consent Decree$300,000$300,000$0
EEOC v. United Health Programs, No. 14-cv-3673, 2020 WL 1083771 (EDNY 2020)EDNY6-Mar-2020MatsumotoHostile Work Environment ("Reverse" Religious Discrimination; Onionhead)Emotional DistressJury$570,000$50,000$520,000[Plaintiff Honohan] Upholding reduced award. P felt defeatd, disappointed, and sad, and began experiencing work-related nightmares as a result of the workplace stress.
EEOC v. United Health Programs, No. 14-cv-3673, 2020 WL 1083771 (EDNY 2020)EDNY6-Mar-2020MatsumotoHostile Work Environment ("Reverse" Religious Discrimination; Onionhead)PunitiveJury$400,000$10,000$390,000[Plaintiff Diaz] Upholding reduced amount ($10k, per Title VII cap); noting, e.g., that Ds did not present evidence that they engaged in good-faith efforts to enforce anti-discrimination policy.
EEOC v. United Health Programs, No. 14-cv-3673, 2020 WL 1083771 (EDNY 2020)EDNY6-Mar-2020MatsumotoHostile Work Environment ("Reverse" Religious Discrimination; Onionhead)Emotional DistressJury$308,000$50,000$258,000[Plaintiff Maldari] Upholding reduced award. P testified to feeling upset, uncomfortable, and scared; as a result of a warning that plaintiff must attend religious-based meetings or else be terminated, she was scared, had a lot of anxiety, wasn't sleeping well, suffered nightmares, and was worried.
EEOC v. United Health Programs, No. 14-cv-3673, 2020 WL 1083771 (EDNY 2020)EDNY6-Mar-2020MatsumotoHostile Work Environment ("Reverse" Religious Discrimination; Onionhead)Emotional DistressJury$225,000$50,000$175,000[Plaintiff Benedict] Upholding reduced award. Made uncomfortable, disparaged family, coerced move.
EEOC v. United Health Programs, No. 14-cv-3673, 2020 WL 1083771 (EDNY 2020)EDNY6-Mar-2020MatsumotoHostile Work Environment ("Reverse" Religious Discrimination; Onionhead)Emotional DistressJury$190,000$40,000$150,000[Plaintiff Diaz] Upholding reduced award. P was duped, in a daze, emotionally spent, violated, wrecked, not emotionally okay, broke down emotionally, dreaded coming to work, repulsed by employer's daily religious practices, saw multiple doctors over 9-month period for rashes, told rashes were stress-induced; headaches, abdominal pain.
EEOC v. United Health Programs, No. 14-cv-3673, 2020 WL 1083771 (EDNY 2020)EDNY6-Mar-2020MatsumotoHostile Work Environment ("Reverse" Religious Discrimination; Onionhead)PunitiveJury$160,000$10,000$150,000[Plaintiff Pegullo] Upholding reduced award ($10k, per Title VII cap); noting, e.g., that Ds did not present evidence that they engaged in good-faith efforts to enforce anti-discrimination policy.
EEOC v. United Health Programs, No. 14-cv-3673, 2020 WL 1083771 (EDNY 2020)EDNY6-Mar-2020MatsumotoHostile Work Environment ("Reverse" Religious Discrimination; Onionhead)Emotional DistressJury$180,000$40,000$140,000[Plaintiff Pegullo] Upholding reduced award. Felt manipulated, controlled, and brainwashed; testimony er: unhappiness with religious practices corroborated by co-worker.
EEOC v. United Health Programs, No. 14-cv-3673, 2020 WL 1083771 (EDNY 2020)EDNY6-Mar-2020MatsumotoHostile Work Environment ("Reverse" Religious Discrimination; Onionhead)Emotional DistressJury$180,000$50,000$130,000[Plaintiff Josey] Upholding reduced award. Fact that ED was not "lingering" 3 years after employment ended did not preclude ED at time employment or shortly after employment ended, P not required to proffer medical diagnosis to sustain "garden variety" ED, forced workshops were emotionally intense and mentally draining, coerced hugging of coworkers and telling them "I love you" found by P to be uncomfortable, weird, abnormal; felt uncomfortable, offended, taken aback, vulnerable as result of direction to leave husband.
EEOC v. United Health Programs, No. 14-cv-3673, 2020 WL 1083771 (EDNY 2020)EDNY6-Mar-2020MatsumotoHostile Work Environment ("Reverse" Religious Discrimination; Onionhead)Emotional DistressJury$80,000$50,000$30,000[Plaintiff Safara] Upholding reduced award. Quit, hated job, miserable, cranky, lost trust in people, no interaction with coworkers outside work, closed herself off from getting to know new coworkers, turned down invitations to social events.
Emamian v. Rockefeller University, 07-cv-3919, 2018 WL 2849700 (EDNY 2018), aff'd, 823 Fed.Appx. 40 (2d Cir. 2020)SDNY8-Jun-2018BattsDiscrimination (Race, National Origin)Emotional DistressJury$2,000,000$200,000$1,800,000Remittitur warranted. "Significant" category.Anxiety, insomnia, pulled out hair from head, legs, face; PCP diagnosed P with generalized anxiety disorder and trichotillomania; wanted to die, felt anxious, difficulty sleeping, physical injuries (hair loss, loss of appetite, severe weight gain due to use of medications for anxiety, depression, and insomnia), developed a sleep-medication addiction; psychiatric expert (Robert Goldstein, M.D.) linked prior diagnoses of generalized anxiety disorder and trichotillomania to overwhelming stress at work; prior to issues at work, P had no psychiatric problems of any kind.
Epstein v. Kalvin–Miller Int'l Inc., 139 F.Supp.2d 469 (SDNY 2001)SDNY17-Apr-2001LeisureDiscrimination (Age, Disability)Emotional DistressJury$54,000$54,000$0P sought medical treatment; aggravated symptoms of heart disease and diabetes set his claim apart from a "garden variety" ED claim.
Ettinger v. SUNY State College of Optometry, 1998 WL 91089 (SDNY 1998)SDNY2-Mar-1998SweetGender/pregnancy discrimination; retaliationPunitiveJury$50,000$2,000$48,000Jury awarded $450k punitive damages ($300k SUNY + $50k for each of 3 D's); court held that punitive damages were not awardable against SUNY & that $50k/D was excessive.
Ettinger v. SUNY State College of Optometry, No. 95 Civ. 9893, 1998 WL 91089 (SDNY 1998)SDNY2-Mar-1998SweetGender/Pregnancy Discrimination; RetaliationEmotional DistressJury$100,000$100,000$0"Evidence was submitted by Dr. Cynthia Perry, a psychiatrist who has treated Ettinger for a depressive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder, that these disorders resulted from stress-inducing harassment at work."
Father Belle Community Ctr. v. New York State Div of Human Rights, 221 A.D.2d 44, 642 N.Y.S.2d 739, 748-49 (App. Div. 4th Dept. 1996)NYAppDiv419-Apr-1996Denman, Lawton, Wesley, Balio, DavisSexual Harassment; Retaliatory DischargeEmotional DistressNYSDHR$60,000$60,000$0No psychiatric or medical evidence; award warranted in consideration of the "duration, severity, consequences and physical manifestations of the mental anguish in this case"; complainants testified as to "feelings of stress, powerlessness, fear, anger, nervousness, humiliation, and lack of self worth, together with their testimony concerning the adverse physical effects of such mental distress"
Fernandez v. N. Shore Ortho. Surgery & Sports Medicine, P.C., 96-cv-4489, 79 F.Supp.2d 197 (EDNY Jan. 27, 2000)EDNY27-Jan-2000Carman, Gregory W.Retaliation arising from accusations of natioal origin discriminationPunitiveJury$100,000$50,000$50,000Defendant (1) failed to remove from plaintiff's personnel records and all records used for such purposes any remarks or reports concerning the incidents alleged in plaintiff's complaint to the Division of Human Rights as required under the conciliation agreement and instead maintained a separate file for such comments; and (2) “solicited” writeups against plaintiff to place in his personnel file after he and defendant entered into a conciliation agreement before the Division of Human Rights. Remittitur warranted; amount ($100k) excessive in light of ratio (no compensatory damages awarded) and awards in other cases; conduct not sufficiently "reprehensible";
Fink v. City of New York, 129 F.Supp.2d 511 (EDNY 2001)EDNY1-Mar-2001TragerDisability, Military Status Discrimination; Retaliation Emotional DistressJury$300,000$125,000$175,000Remittitur warranted. Jury verdict ($800k, reduced to $300k cap) was excessive. "Fink's disenchantment with the fire department and his job, both of which he came to hate, aggravated by the memory of his experience of his reception upon returning from Vietnam and exacerbated by the fire department's placing him on light duty after subjecting him to medical testing because of his alleged disability all compound his emotional injuries, lending credence to the claims of diminished self-worth and public humiliation which Fink's testimony suggested. However, Fink did not seek medical help for his problems and presented no medical evidence,7 and although his case involved physical symptoms (sleeplessness, headaches and short-temperedness) that resulted in marital problems, his symptoms were not as horrifying as some of those in the highest range of awards."
Fisher v. Mermaid Manor Home for Adults, LLC, 14-3461, 2016 WL 7330554 (EDNY 2016)EDNY16-Dec-2016KuntzHostile Work Environment based on National OriginPunitiveJury$250,000$50,000$200,000Remittitur warranted. Ratio of 10:1 (punitive $250k to compensatory $25k) was excessive; Ratio of 2:1 was appropriate.
Fowler v. NYC Transit Auth., 96-cv-6796, 2001 WL 83228 (SDNY 2001)SDNY31-Jan-2001KoeltlRace, Sex Discrimination; RetaliationEmotional DistressJury$50,000$25,000$25,000Remittitur warranted. Angry, hurt, disrespected, humiliated; medical treatment (including psychologist); multi-day headache, crying uncontrolably, difficulty sleeping, poor appetite, sad mood, labile affect; diagnosed with "adjustment disorder with drpressed mood", anxiety, etc.
Funk v. F & K Supply, Inc., 43 F.Supp.2d 205 (NDNY 1999) (Plaintiff Funk)NDNY9-Mar-1999McAvoySexual Harassment etc.Emotional DistressJury$850,000$30,000$820,000Remittitur warranted in light of case law. Flashbacks; nightmares; felt humiliated, intimidated, degraded, and mentally distressed.
Funk v. F & K Supply, Inc., 43 F.Supp.2d 205 (NDNY 1999) (Plaintiff Michetti)NDNY9-Mar-1999McAvoySexual Harassment etc.Emotional DistressJury$450,000$30,000$420,000Remittitur warranted in light of case law. Got sick about coming to work; scared, shaking, almost wet her pants; felt cheap, disrespected, angry, confused, had no control over her life; broke down and cried at work following a confrontation; consumed with work; came home depressed; headaches, sickness, loss of appetite, occasional vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pains.
Gallegos v. Elite Model Mgmt. Corp., 1 Misc.3d 907(A) (N.Y. Sup. Ct. N.Y. Cty. 2004), vacated on other grounds, 28 A.D.3d 50 (NY App. Div. 1 Dept. 2005)NY Supreme NY6-Jan-2004YorkDisability Discrimination/Failure to Accommodate (asthma); Hostile Work Environment; RetaliationPain & SufferingJury$2,000,000$1,100,000$900,000Substantial physical symptoms rising from aggravation of asthma condition and development of chronic sinusitis; additional psychological injuries arising from hostile work environment, tension resulting from impending termination, and termination itself. Factors justified $1.1m award for pain & suffering ($600k past, $500k future).
Ganci v. U.S. Limo. Svc. & R. Townsend, 10-cv-3027, ECF # 148 (EDNY April 8, 2015) (Judgment)EDNY8-Apr-2015BiancoSexual Harassment; Hostile Work Environment; Constructive DischargePunitiveJury$450,000$100,000$350,000Judgment entered against entity (reduction by stipulation)
Ganci v. U.S. Limo. Svc. & R. Townsend, 10-cv-3027, ECF # 148 (EDNY April 8, 2015) (Judgment)EDNY8-Apr-2015BiancoSexual Harassment; Hostile Work Environment; Constructive DischargeEmotional DistressJury$300,000$300,000$0Judgment entered against entity and individual; jury awarded (ECF # 119) compensatory damages of $450k; broken down as follows: $250k past mental harm, emotional distress, suffering, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment of life, other non-monetary losses; $50k future mental harm etc.; $100k past lost wages; 50k future lost wages).
Gatti v. Community Action Agency of Green County, 263 F.Supp.2d 496 (NDNY 2003)NDNY19-May-2003Treece (M.J.)Discrimination (termination), Hostile Work Environment - AgeEmotional DistressJury$80,000$80,000$0 Medical treatment. Stress, heart palpitations, high blood pressure; husband testified that wife's demeanor changed dramatically over the past 5 years; D argued that stress was due to non-work factors (husband's health issues) and/or pre-existing conditions.
Ginsberg v. Valhalla Anesthesia Associates, 96-cv-6462, 1997 WL 669870 (SDNY 1997)SDNY28-Oct-1997BaerPregnancy DiscriminationEmotional DistressJury$500,000$100,000$400,000"While plaintiff presented little evidence regarding her emotional distress, she did testify that she saw a psychiatrist and received anti-depressant medication and remained on medication for close to a year. Clearly, the jury credited this testimony in reaching its award. Such facts distinguish this case from the emotional distress cases discussed above in which awards were remitted to $20,000 to $50,000."
Gleason v. Callanan Industries Inc., 203 AD2d 750, 610 NYS2d 671 (N.Y. App. Div. 3 Dept. 1994)NYAppDiv321-Apr-1994Peters, Cardona, Mercure, White, WeissSexual harassment (by co-worker); retaliation (termination)Emotional DistressJury$54,000$54,000$0"[T]estimony established plaintiff suffered from irritable bowel syndrome, pains in her sides, insomnia, migraines and depression, and that as result thereof plaintiff sought medical treatment; further, plaintiff's claim of mental shock and anguish stemmed from retaliatory discharge and was supported not only by testimony of plaintiff, but also various other employees; after such discharge, plaintiff was deeply concerned about her ability to support herself and her child because she was single mother with limited professional experience and training; such testimony was buttressed by plaintiff's inability to secure comparable employment for approximately one year."
Gonsalez v. Marin et al, 2014 WL 2514704 (EDNY 2014) (Levy, M.J.)EDNY25-Apr-2014Levy (M.J.)Pregnancy Discrimination Emotional DistressCourt / Default$10,000$10,000$0Requested $20k rejected. Felt "sad and let down", tension and anxiety when hours were cut; emotional distress allegations were "serious" but "stated as conclusions drawn by" plaintiff and fail to address the severity, duration, or consequences of her emotional distress", no corroborating medical testimony.
Gonzalez v. Bratton, 147 F. Supp. 2d 180 (SDNY 2001)SDNY13-Jun-2001MarreroRetaliation, Constructive DischargePunitiveCourt$110,000$110,000$0$110k assessed against individual defendants in the amounts of $10k, $25k, $75k.
Gonzalez v. Bratton, 147 F. Supp. 2d 180 (SDNY 2001)SDNY13-Jun-2001MarreroRetaliation, Constructive DischargeEmotional DistressJury$250,000$250,000$0Jury award did not diffentiate between past and future injury.
Greathouse v. JHS Sec. Inc., 2015 WL 7142850 (SDNY 2015)SDNY13-Nov-2015Gorenstein (M.J.)FLSAEmotional DistressCourt / Default$10,000$10,000$0Garden-variety. Requested $20k rejected. P threatened with gun; withdrawn from friends and family, anxious and nervous when around people, felt powerless; no medical documentation.
Greenbaum v. Svenska Handelsbanken, 67 F.Supp.2d 228 (SDNY 1999)SDNY8-Sep-1999Sotomayor (designation)Gender Discrimination, Retaliation PunitiveJury$1,250,000$1,250,000$0Finding, applying Gore factors, that $1.25m was warranted; court noted ratio of punitive ($1.25m) to back pay ($320k) was a permissible and not grossly excessive 3.75 to 1; $1.25m was comparable to other civil and criminal penalties awarded for similar forms of misconduct; and defendant's stipulated wealth.
Gutierrez v. Taxi Club Mgmt., Inc., 17-cv-532, 2018 WL 3432786 (E.D.N.Y. 2018), R&R adopted, 2018 WL 3429903 (E.D.N.Y. July 16, 2018)EDNY25-Jun-2018Scanlon (M.J.) (R&R); Donnelly (adopting R&R)Gender Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, RetaliationEmotional DistressCourt / Default$130,000$130,000$0More than "garden variety"; Felt “uncomfortable” and “sick,” cried at work, migraine headaches, routinely felt nauseous, vomited, had trouble sleeping, suffered from stress and anxiety, overeating, felt general sensation of helplessness; though P testimony was uncorroborated and P did not seek medical or psychiatric treatment, significant symptoms were felt during her employment and persisted after her employment ended; during inquest, P was visibly upset when she testified about her experiences with Defendants and her difficulties finding comparable work; P testified more than a year and a half after employment ended that the harassment and retaliation P suffered continues to adversely affect P's quality of life.
Gutierrez v. Taxi Club Mgmt., Inc., 17-cv-532, 2018 WL 3432786 (E.D.N.Y. 2018), R&R adopted, 2018 WL 3429903 (E.D.N.Y. July 16, 2018)EDNY25-Jun-2018Scanlon (M.J.) (R&R); Donnelly (adopting R&R)Gender Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, RetaliationPunitiveCourt / Default$850,000$850,000$0Rejecting $1.8m sought as excessive. Amount awarded, $850k, is 2x compensatory damages award (back pay + front pay + emotional distress).
Hill v. Airborne Freight Corp., 212 F.Supp.2d 59 (EDNY 2002) (plaintiff Alvarez)EDNY17-Jul-2002BlockRace discrimination; retaliationEmotional DistressJury$150,000$50,000$100,000Plaintiff Alvarez. Alvarez testified that during the seven-month period between his full termination and his reinstatement he was unable to discharge his financial responsibilities to his wife and three young children. This led to family problems; he “split up” with his wife and went to live with his mother. During that same period, Airborne challenged Alvarez's entitlement to unemployment benefits, albeit unsuccessfully. In addition, Alvarez testified that he was “scared to go to work” because “[a]s a black man, you would go to work wondering when are you going to get fired.”
Hill v. Airborne Freight Corp., 212 F.Supp.2d 59 (EDNY 2002) (plaintiff Harrison)EDNY17-Jul-2002BlockRace discrimination; retaliationEmotional DistressJury$125,000$40,000$85,000Plaintiff Harrison. Despite his efforts to obtain comparable employment, Harrison was relegated, over Airborne's opposition, to obtaining unemployment benefits. Harrison testified that his “character was just destroyed” as a result of losing his employment and that his life has been “totally hard” since then. Specifically, Harrison stated that he separated from his wife, had two cars repossessed, was evicted from his apartment, and is living in a single room.
Hill v. Airborne Freight Corp., 212 F.Supp.2d 59 (EDNY 2002) (plaintiff Hill)EDNY17-Jul-2002BlockRace discrimination; retaliationEmotional DistressJury$300,000$75,000$225,000Plaintiff Hill. Hill's diary recounted how the discrimination he suffered affected him emotionally. See Ex. AA. He states in the diary that one day he left work sick, “feeling stressed by management.” On another day, Hill recounts that he was “diagnosed with acute stress disorder.” In addition, Hill testified that from October 1997 through April 1998, he took a disability leave and was seeing a psychologist for “stress” related to, inter alia, “the job.” Hill also testified that after his final termination he was unable to obtain work for about a year and suffered significant economic hardships, including the loss of his car and house. See Tr. at 276. His termination also led to problems in his personal life; he grew apart from his family and started drinking more. See Tr. at 276.
Hill v. Airborne Freight Corp., 212 F.Supp.2d 59 (EDNY 2002) (plaintiff Hill)EDNY17-Jul-2002BlockRace discrimination, retaliationPunitiveJury$600,000$400,000$200,000Total $1m; divided among 4 successful plaintiffs; each gets $200k, but one plaintiff (Hill) gets the remaining $200k because he suffered (in addition to discrimination) spearate, particular acts of retaliation. Punitive award should be reduced; there were no acts or threats of violence, and Airborne's reprehensible conduct was primarily the product of Scarola's malicious behavior and the permissive environment he fostered for inappropriate behavior by his managerial underlings. While this cannot be condoned, and surely Airborne is responsible for the acts of its managers, the Court believes that a total punitive damage award of $1,000,000 is sufficient to punish Airborne for the racially discriminatory and retaliatory conduct of its managers at the Brooklyn Station during Scarola's reign, and to ensure appropriate future accountability.
Hill v. Airborne Freight Corp., 212 F.Supp.2d 59 (EDNY 2002) (plaintiff Tyson)EDNY17-Jul-2002BlockRace discrimination; retaliationEmotional DistressJury$125,000$20,000$105,000Plaintiff Tyson. Tyson testified that he felt like “less of a man” at that time, and spoke in vague terms about the insult suffered to his character.
Hill v. Airborne Freight Corp., 212 F.Supp.2d 59 (EDNY 2002) (plaintiffs other than Hill)EDNY17-Jul-2002BlockRace discrimination, retaliationPunitiveJury$300,000$200,000$100,000Total $1m; divided among 4 successful plaintiffs; each gets $200k, but one plaintiff (Hill) gets the remaining $200k because he suffered (in addition to discrimination) spearate, particular acts of retaliation. Punitive award should be reduced; there were no acts or threats of violence, and Airborne's reprehensible conduct was primarily the product of Scarola's malicious behavior and the permissive environment he fostered for inappropriate behavior by his managerial underlings. While this cannot be condoned, and surely Airborne is responsible for the acts of its managers, the Court believes that a total punitive damage award of $1,000,000 is sufficient to punish Airborne for the racially discriminatory and retaliatory conduct of its managers at the Brooklyn Station during Scarola's reign, and to ensure appropriate future accountability.
Hill v. Airborne Freight Corp., Nos. 97 Civ. 7098, 98 Civ. 6249, 2003 WL 366641 (E.D.N.Y. Feb. 20, 2003) (plaintiff Harrison)EDNY20-Feb-2003BlockRace discrimination, retaliationFront PayCourt$17,900$17,900$01 year differential between plaintiff (Harrison's) current and former earnings.
Hiller v. County of Suffolk, 95-cv-4496, 199 F.R.D. 101 (EDNY 2001)EDNY20-Feb-2001Pohorelsky (MJ)Race DiscriminationEmotional DistressJury$50,000$20,000$30,000Plaintiffs Ethridge, Sefton, Hogan and Duryee. "The plaintiffs offered only their own testimony to establish their claims for damages for emotional distress. Their testimony consisted largely of general statements of feelings of humiliation, stress, depression, anxiety or embarrassment, and several cited a certain loss of self-esteem. With the exception of Ms. Hiller, whose situation was somewhat different from the other four plaintiffs, none of the plaintiffs sought or received any psychological treatment or counseling for their distress. The physical manifestations of their distress consisted of varying degrees of sleeplessness, and several of the plaintiffs attributed weight gain or loss to their emotional state. None, save perhaps Hiller, testified to any long-term physical manifestations."
Hiller v. County of Suffolk, 95-cv-4496, 199 F.R.D. 101 (EDNY 2001)EDNY20-Feb-2001Pohorelsky (MJ)Race DiscriminationEmotional DistressJury$50,000$30,000$20,000Plaintiff Hiller. "Hiller's testimony established a somewhat higher degree of emotional distress. Because she was adopted and did not (at the time) know the races of her biological parents, Hiller did not have a firm idea of her race when she applied for the Cadet Program."
Hollis v. City of Buffalo, 28 F. Supp. 2d 812 (WDNY 1998)WDNY30-Dec-1998Heckman (M.J.)Sexual Harassment; Hostile Work EnvironmentEmotional DistressCourt / Bench Trial$30,000$30,000$0P experienced harassment for over one year. Several instances of public humiliation; although P did not seek medical treatment, she testified that she suffered physical manifestations of nervousness and emotional distress, including tearfulness, chest pains, shortness of breath and feelings of exhaustion, and that the harassment adversely affected her relationship with her husband. However, P did not produce any medical evidence of her emotional distress nor did she seek psychiatric or psychological treatment. $30k was warranted in light of this evidence and the range of damages in other cases.
Holness v. National Mobile Television, Inc., No. 09-cv-2601, 2012 WL 1744847 (Feb. 14, 2012), 2012 WL 1744744 (adopting R&R as modified)EDNY14-Feb-2012Levy (M.J.)Race DiscriminationPunitiveCourt / Default$50,000$50,000$0Rejecting $100k sought by Plaintiff
Holness v. National Mobile Television, Inc., No. 09-cv-2601, 2012 WL 1744847 (Feb. 14, 2012), 2012 WL 1744744 (adopting R&R as modified)EDNY14-Feb-2012Levy (M.J.)Race DiscriminationEmotional DistressCourt / Default$50,000$50,000$0Rejecting $150k-250k sought by Plaintiff. Plaintiff's testimony was credible and his distress rose beyond “garden variety.” However, as plaintiff failed to introduce medical documentation or corroborating testimony, and his physical health has not been significantly affected, plaintiff's claim does not belong within the category of “egregious” cases and is more properly characterized as "significant"
Holness v. National Mobile Television, Inc., No. 09-cv-2601, 2012 WL 1744847 (Feb. 14, 2012), 2012 WL 1744744 (adopting R&R as modified)EDNY14-Feb-2012Levy (M.J.)Race DiscriminationFront PayCourt / Default$0$0$0Rejecting P request for 5 years of front pay and finding that it would be inappropriate to award front pay as it would be "spectulative".
Iannone v. Frederic R. Harris, Inc., 941 F.Supp. 403 (S.D.N.Y.1996)SDNY24-Sep-1996Francis (M.J.)Retaliation for complaining about what P perceived as sexually offensive materialPunitiveJury$250,000$50,000$200,000Remittitur warranted; $250k was excessive; D conduct was not as reprehensible as in other cases; alleged sexual harassment (requirement to prepare offending viewgraph) was not outrageous; P not subjected to unwanted touching or demands for sexual relations; $250k was more than 80% of Title VII statutory cap ($300k); $50k was maximum award that would not "shock the conscience" as it was "consistent with the serious but not repugnant conduct of defendant" and represents approximately a 2:1 ratio of punitive damages to compensatory damages and back pay; significant enough to deter even a company as large as defendant from repeating retaliation.
In re Twelfth St. Corp. v. Kirkland, 106 AD3d 1098, 2013 WL 2321710 (App. Div. 2 Dept. May 29, 2013)NYAppDiv229-May-2013Mastro, Rivera, Hall, MillerSexual harassment hostile work environmentEmotional DistressNYSDHR$50,000$50,000$0Confirming NYSDHR award, which was "reasonably related to the wrongdoing, supported by substantial evidence, and comparable to other awards for similar injuries"; citing Matter of New York City Tr. Auth. v State Div. of Human Rights, 78 NY2d 207, 219 [1991]; Matter of New York State Div. of Human Rights v ABS Elecs., Inc., 102 AD3d at 969; Matter of New York State Div. of Human Rights v Ben Rottenstein Assoc., Inc., 89 AD3d 852, 853 [2011]; Matter of Columbia Sussex Corp. v New York State Div. of Human Rights, 63 AD3d at 736).
Johnson v Strive E. Harlem Empl. Group, 990 F.Supp.2d 435 (SDNY 2014)SDNY2-Jan-2014BaerGender, Race Discrimination; Hostile Work Environment; RetaliationFront PayJury$250,000$10,000$240,000Jury's award of compensatory damages was $250k, comprising sum of back pay, front pay, and emotional distress awards. 1 year of front pay (P's new salary was $10k/year less than salary at D)
Johnson v Strive E. Harlem Empl. Group, 990 F.Supp.2d 435 (SDNY 2014)SDNY2-Jan-2014BaerGender, Race Discrimination; Hostile Work Environment; RetaliationEmotional DistressJury$250,000$80,000$170,000Jury's award of compensatory damages was $250k, comprising sum of back pay, front pay, and emotional distress awards. Remittitur warranted. Upper half of garden variety range. P relied on her own testimony regarding seeing two therapists, immediate emotional reactoin to being called a "nigger", and the lingering effects that the treatment had on her emotional state; P declined to take prescribed medication; P described need for therapy in vague terms, noting only that she lacked energy and confidence as a result of treatment at defendant; no testimony of physical manifestations; award subject to reduction due to P's decision to record her interactions with discriminator; racial epithet was used after P's prompting; while there was "conginuous, egregious behavior" toward P adn resulting therapy, there was "limited evidence of any lasting physical or emotional impact on Plaintiff as well as the lack of corroborative testimony."
Johnson v Strive E. Harlem Empl. Group, 990 F.Supp.2d 435 (SDNY 2014)SDNY2-Jan-2014BaerGender, Race Discrimination; Hostile Work Environment; RetaliationPunitiveJury$30,000$30,000$0Punitive damages warranted ($25k against supervisor, $5k against organization); "plethora of discriminatory comments" (including the work "nigger") supported jury's finding of "malice or reckless indifference to Plaintiff's right to work free from race and gender discrimination"; Ds do not dispute use of racial epithet; handbook expressly banned illegal discrimination and creation of a hostile environment; epithet speaker acknowledged being aware of and receiving training regarding antidiscrimination and antiharassment policies.
Joseph v. HDMJ Rest., Inc., 970 F.Supp.2d 131 (EDNY 2013)EDNY9-Sep-2013Seybert (adopting R&R by M.J. Tomlinson)race, color, national origin, sex and disability discriminationEmotional DistressCourt / Default$30,000$30,000$0$50k rejected. "Plaintiff's claim for mental anguish and emotional distress is based on her Complaint, her affidavit, and her attorney's declaration. Plaintiff's allegations of emotional distress are significant but are stated as conclusions drawn by the Plaintiff herself."
Jowers v. DME Interactive Holdings, Inc., 00-4753, 2006 WL 1408671 (SDNY 2006)SDNY22-May-2006SwainRace discriminationPunitiveCourt / Default$10,000$5,000$5,000Declining to adopt R&R of $10k punitive damages and awarding $5k instead, primarily on the basis of defendant's evidence showing "that its assets are so substantially diminished". Punitive damages imposed against defendant DME only.
Jowers v. DME Interactive Holdings, Inc., 00-4753, 2006 WL 1408671 (SDNY 2006)SDNY22-May-2006SwainRace discriminationEmotional DistressCourt / Default$15,000$15,000$0Adopting R&R. Plaintiff proffered testimony that DME's hostile work environment caused her “continued stress, anger, sadness and frustration” and was an “ongoing public humiliation” for her; testified to crying after leaving work most days; claimed she experienced other mental and physical problems as a result of Defendant's discriminatory conduct, many of which persisted after termination, including struggling with depression, suffering from panic attacks, headaches, nausea, loss of appetite, severe bouts of insomnia and breaking out in hives; Plaintiff's personal relationships were strained as she had difficulty expressing her feelings with her closest friends of color, because she feared her reverse discrimination would not be easily understood by them; Plaintiff failed to obtain employment after a potential employer learned of her pending lawsuit against DME.
Kamiel v. Hai Street Kitchen & Co. LLC, 19-cv-05336, 2020 WL 1916534 (SDNY 2020) (R&R)SDNY17-Mar-2020Aaron (M.J.)Disability Discrimination; Unpaid WagesPunitiveCourt / Default$35,000$35,000$0P requested $50k; ADA cap ($50k for employers with 101 or fewer employees) applied; P did not allege that defendants had as many as 101 employees; damages limited under ADA to $35k in light of $15k emotional distress damages recommendation. Court noted that NYSHRL did not provide for punitive damages.
Kamiel v. Hai Street Kitchen & Co. LLC, 19-cv-05336, 2020 WL 1916534 (SDNY 2020) (R&R)SDNY17-Mar-2020Aaron (M.J.)Disability Discrimination; Unpaid WagesEmotional DistressCourt / Default$15,000$15,000$0Sleeplessness, headaches, anxiety, cried frequently, unable to control emotions, termination-related anxiety; but no medical records, did not seek mental health treatment; "garden variety"
Katt v. City of New York et al, 151 F.Supp.2d 313 (SDNY 2001)SDNY21-Jun-2001LynchSexual HarassmentEmotional DistressJury$400,000$400,000$0Applying "shocks the conscience" standard. Testimony, corroborated by clinical psychologist: plaintiff testified that regular incidents of degrading and sexually provocative conduct, as well as unwelcome sexual advances, caused her to suffer severe headaches, stomach ailments, diarrhea, increased upper respiratory allergies and infections; felt continually run down, yet had trouble sleeping; once vomited during her commute to work; insomnia, nightmares; frequent thoughts and flashbacks to those experiences during intimate moments with men; connection between affection/touching and harassment; unable to have an intimate sexual relationships like she used to. Defense expert found plaintiff to suffer from "debilitating psychological trauma"; paranoia; post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); plaintiff was "totally disabled"
Kauffman v. Maxim Healthcare Servs., Inc., 509 F.Supp.2d 210 (EDNY 2007)EDNY5-Sep-2007FeuersteinRetaliationPunitiveJury$1,500,000$551,470$948,530Punitive damages awarded under 42 USC 1981. Remittitur warranted. Ratio of punitive to compensatory damages (11 to 1) exceeded constitutionally permissible bounds. Remitted amount ($551,470) - a ratio of 4 to 1 - "would be sufficient to punish Defendant and deter similar wrongful conduct, would be consistent with the reprehensibility of the conduct, and would be proportionate to the actual injury suffered by Plaintiff."
Khan v. HIP Centralized Lab. Services, 03-2411, 2008 WL 4283348 (EDNY 2008)EDNY17-Sep-2008TragerRetaliationEmotional DistressJury$200,000$50,000$150,000Remittitur warranted. While P sought psychiatric help, emotional distress was not wholly attributable to 5-day suspension. D request to reduce ED to $12k "minimizes the extent of its liability", including the "initial impact of Khan's supsension on his emotional health". Plaintiff's claim was at the bottom of the "significant" range; result supported by evaluation of comparable cases; many of the limitatoins on P's life activities and most severe incidents of depression were caused by actions for which employer cannot be held liable; plaintiff complained to psychiatrist of fatigue, middle insomnia, increased appetite, poor concentration, impaired memory, fear of losing job.
Khan v. HIP Centralized Lab. Services, 03-2411, 2008 WL 4283348 (EDNY 2008)EDNY17-Sep-2008TragerRetaliationPunitiveJury$11,000$0$11,000Striking $11k jury award of punitive damages; no "outrageous or intentionally unlawful conduct"
Kim v. Dial Service Int'l, Inc., 96-3327, 1997 WL 458783 (SDNY 1997)SDNY11-Aug-1997CoteDiscrimination (termination) and unequal pay based on age, race, national originPunitiveJury$750,000$25,000$725,000Remittitur warranted. $750k was too high, based on: low degree of reprehensibility, materially disproportionate ratio of awarded punitive damages ($750k) to the remitted compensatory award ($25k)( 30:1), comparison with awards in other cases, damage cap based on # of employees, and economic status of defendant.
Kim v. Dial Service Int'l, Inc., 96-3327, 1997 WL 458783 (SDNY 1997)SDNY11-Aug-1997CoteDiscrimination (termination) and unequal pay based on age, race, national originEmotional DistressJury$300,000$25,000$275,000Remittitur warranted. $300k excessive "given other verdicts in this area" and would be "unprecedented". "In the instant case, there was no compelling evidence such as that found in Marfia. The testimony regarding the plaintiff's mental anguish was essentially the following: Mr. Kim testified that he felt “gloomy” and had difficulty sleeping. He also testified that he lost his appetite and as a result lost 20 pounds. The plaintiff testified that he drank at home and took sedatives. The plaintiff's wife testified that the plaintiff did not like to socialize as a result of the discrimination, had difficulty sleeping, drank and took sedatives. The plaintiff's wife also testified that plaintiff did not enjoy leisure activities such as going to a health spa or playing golf. She testified that this lack of interest in life continues, although somewhat improved, to the present. ... Much of the testimony regarding mental anguish, however, was tied by the plaintiff to the conversations which he contended proved age discrimination. As a consequence, a certain amount of his suffering must be attributed to a theory on which he did not recover."
Kinneary v. City of New York, 536 FSupp2d 326 (SDNY 2008), reversed on other grounds, 601 F.3d 151 (2d Cir. 2010)SDNY13-Feb-2008MarreroDiscrimination (Disability)Emotional DistressJury$125,000$25,000$100,000Remittitur warranted. "The emotional damages Kinneary asserts fall far short of the type of severe injury from extreme misconduct that would warrant the exceptional award he obtained. Kinneary claims to have felt embarrassment and disappointment over losing his position and having to rely on the financial support of family members after his discharge, and he was upset over having to move his daughter out of school. Kinneary did not establish by medical evidence, for example, that he suffered from extreme objective physical manifestations, that he sought psychological or medical treatment, that any particular life activities of his were curtailed due to the emotional distress, or that other circumstances prevailed which might differentiate his situation from the self-described garden variety non-economic damages situation."
Laboy v. Office Equip. & Supply Corp., 15-3321, 2016 WL 5462976 (SDNY 2016)SDNY29-Sep-2016Peck (MJ)Discrimination (Race)Emotional DistressCourt / Default$25,000$25,000$0Garden variety. "Anxiety attack, depression, insomnia, weight loss, marital strain and low self-esteem, among other issues."
Lee v. City of Syracuse, 446 Fed.Appx. 319 (2d Cir. 2011)CA227-Oct-2011Calabresi, Lynch, WesleyRetaliation, Gender DiscriminationEmotional DistressJury$400,000$0$400,000Intense emotional distress; court analogized case to Phillips v. Bowen, 278 F.3d 103 (2d Cir. 2002) in which the 2d Circuit sustained a $400,000 verdict in a retaliation case brought by another female police officer on "similar facts."
Legg v. Ulster County, et al, 09-550, 2022 WL 909045 (NDNY March 29, 2022)NDNY29-Mar-2022ScullinSexual Harassment (Hostile Work Environment)Emotional DistressJury$200,000$75,000$125,000Remittitur warranted. Garden variety case. P withdrew from her life and children, marital issues, depressed, anxious, prescribed medication (Pristiq, Xanax); no testimony from medical professional; no corroboration; emotional problems unrelated to work.
Lewis v. Am. Sugar Refining, Inc., 325 F. Supp. 3d 321 (S.D.N.Y. 2018) SDNY17-Aug-2018Kelly, Claire R.Race & National Origin Discrimination; Hostile Work Environment; RetaliationPunitiveJury$2,000,000$299,000$1,701,000Ratio of punitive ($2m) to compensatory & actual damages ($354k) was 5.7:1. Punitive award was conformed to sttautory cap of $300k, less $1.
Lewis v. Am. Sugar Refining, Inc., 325 F. Supp. 3d 321 (S.D.N.Y. 2018) SDNY17-Aug-2018Kelly, Claire R.Race & National Origin Discrimination; Hostile Work Environment; RetaliationEmotional DistressJury$250,000$115,000$135,000Remittitur warranted; anxiety, distraught, vomited, ridiculed, degraded; treatment from mental health professional over a period of about 1.5 years; prescribed medication (wellbutrin, prozac) which he took for over the course of a year; concern about how retaliation will affect ability to see, provide, and maintain relationship with his child; corroboration by friend; higher end of "garden variety" category.
Liska v. Paramount Group Inc., 213 AD2d 346, 624 NYS2d 418 (App. Div. 1 Dept. Mar. 30, 1995)NYAppDiv130-Mar-1995Ellerin, Wallach, Kupferman, Asch, MazzarelliDisability Discrimination - TerminationEmotional DistressJury$95,000$95,000$0No discussion/analysis.
Lopez v. Mama's Fried Chicken, Inc., 2022 NY Slip Op 01124 (NY App. Div. 1st Dept. 2022)NYAppDiv122-Feb-2022Renwick, Kennedy, Scarpulla, Rodriguez, HiggittSexual HarassmentEmotional DistressCourt / Default$300,000$300,000$0No discussion
Lopez v. Mama's Fried Chicken, Inc., 2022 NY Slip Op 01124 (NY App. Div. 1st Dept. 2022)NYAppDiv122-Feb-2022Renwick, Kennedy, Scarpulla, Rodriguez, HiggittSexual HarassmentPunitiveCourt / Default$200,000$200,000$0No discussion
Lore v. City of Syracuse, 670 F.3d 127 (2d Cir. 2012)CA22-Feb-2012Kearse, Sack, LynchGender Discrimination, RetaliationReputational InjuryJury$100,000$100,000$0Making suspension public, in a way that allowed jury to infer that members of the public were left with the false impression that plaintiff had stolen other officers' paychecks.
Lore v. City of Syracuse, 670 F.3d 127 (2d Cir. 2012)CA22-Feb-2012Kearse, Sack, LynchGender Discrimination, RetaliationEmotional DistressJury$150,000$150,000$0P's evidence of pain, suffering, and emotional distress "included her own testimony and the testimony of her mother, that Lore had suffered, inter alia, tension headaches, abdominal pain, insomnia, anxiety, and depression. They testified that whereas Lore had been a gregarious and vivacious person before the events of 2000 and 2001, she thereafter suffered from stress, had stomach problems, and became reclusive. Her mother testified that Lore looked like a ghost, wouldn't talk to anyone, and cried and cried and cried. In addition, Lore received medical treatment, the physical side effects of which included vomiting and diarrhea. Her medical records showed, inter alia, that her physician insisted that she remain out of work for a period in June 2001 to receive treatment for her depression".
Luciano v. Olsten Corp., 912 F.Supp. 663 (EDNY 1996), aff'd, 110 F.3d 210 (2d Cir. 1997)EDNY21-Jan-1996SpattGender discrimination (failure to promote, termination)PunitiveJury$5,000,002$300,000$4,700,002Award reduced to damage cap provided for in 42 U.S.C. § 1981a(b)(3)(D). Punitive damages were warranted; jury heard evidence that P was given greater job responsibilities without commensurate support staff and that VP of HR/EEOO screamed at P, was abusive, used hostile language, poked finger very close to P face, attempted to harass and intimidate P and called P a "bitch"
Luciano v. Olsten Corp., 912 F.Supp. 663 (EDNY 1996), aff'd, 110 F.3d 210 (2d Cir. 1997)EDNY21-Jan-1996SpattGender discrimination (failure to promote, termination)Emotional DistressJury$11,400$11,400$0"We are dealing with a high-level career woman who, instead of being promoted to Vice President as promised in writing by the then Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, was terminated, as the jury found. There was testimony that as a result of the termination Luciano was hurt, shocked, upset, overcome with sadness and depression, that she cried, worried about *674 finances, had trouble sleeping and eating and felt purposeless. The jury could consider all of these factors in a damage award for emotional distress even without the testimony of a physician. An award of $11,400.00 based on this evidence is not so excessive as to shock the Court's conscience."
Lynch v. Town of Southampton, 492 F. Supp. 2d 197 (EDNY 2007)EDNY27-Jun-2007SpattFirst Amendment Emotional DistressJury$251,000$50,000$201,000P was forced to leave animal shelter by 3 uniformed officers; public humiliation (forced termination as volunteer in newspapers and on radio).
MABSTOA v. NYS Exec. Dept., 220 AD2d 668, 632 NYS2d 642 (App. Div. 2 Dept. 1995)NYAppDiv223-Oct-1995Altman, Hart, Friedmann, KrausmanAge Discrimination; Failure to HireEmotional DistressNYSDHR$30,000$7,500$22,500Felt "devastated", disturbed sleep, weight gain, exacerbated high blood pressure; however, did not seek medical or psychiatric assistance, no indication of duration of distress, no evidence that weight gain or blood pressure problems were related to rejection for position
MacMillan v. Millenium Broadway Hotel, 873 F.Supp.2d 546 (SDNY 2012)SDNY11-Jun-2012GardepheRace Discrimination / Hostile Work Environment PunitiveJury$1,000,000$100,000$900,000Ratio of punitive to remitted compensatory was 33:1; maximum $100k represented more appropriate ~4:1 of punitive to remitted compensatory damages.
MacMillan v. Millenium Broadway Hotel, 873 F.Supp.2d 546 (SDNY 2012)SDNY11-Jun-2012GardepheRace Discrimination / Hostile Work Environment Emotional DistressJury$125,000$30,000$95,000Remittitur warranted. P did not offer any testimony concerning emotional distress; no evidence of medical or psychological treatment, that he missed work, or had difficulty sleeping, lost appetite, or physical manifestations of emotional distress.
Madrigal v. Montefiore Med. Ctr., 191 AD3d 407, 2021 NY Slip Op 00526 (App. Div. 1 Dept. Feb. 2, 2021)NYAppDiv12-Feb-2021Manzanet-Daniels, Kapnick, Mazzarelli, MoultonSexual Harassment, Hostile Work Environment, RetaliationEmotional DistressJury$3,600,000$1,750,000$1,850,000Years-long campaign of physical and emotional abuse against plaintiff by her colleagues and supervisors that was willfully ignored by her employer; environment caused plaintiff to suffer panic attacks and anxiety, with physical symptoms including sleeplessness, shortness of breath, and chest pain, necessitating several visits to the emergency room over the course of several years; plaintiff's doctor prescribed her sleep and anti-anxiety medicine, the latter of which she still takes; termination caused plaintiff to sink into depression, from which she still had not recovered by the time of the trial years afterward.
Maher v. All Mortg. Banking Corp., 2010 WL 3516153 (EDNY 2010)EDNY9-Aug-2010Lindsay (M.J.)Sexual HarassmentEmotional DistressCourt / Default$170,000$170,000$0$2m rejected; damages limited to $200k by statute (based on employer size). Inappropriate touching; failure to address complaints; P's age (only 18 at the time); dreaded going to work; difficulty sleeping; aggravation of irritable bowel syndrome and temporomandibular joint disorder, requiring medical attention; psychological counseling; clinical depresssion, anxiety; psychological treatment, emotional distress not ongoing; P was able to secure other employment; lack of focus.
Mahoney v. Canada Dry Bottling Co., 94-2924, 1998 WL 231082 (EDNY 1998)EDNY7-May-1998BlockRace/Age Discrimination (unsuccessful); Retaliation (successful)PunitiveJury$650,000$100,000$550,000Evidence that manager exhibited overt hostility toward P and, because of P's EEOC charge, issued instruction to treat P differently. As for amount, ratio of punitive:compensatory was 19:1; appropriate ratio ($100k max punitive:jury compensatory award) was ~3:1.
Mahoney v. Canada Dry Bottling Co., 94-2924, 1998 WL 231082 (EDNY 1998)EDNY7-May-1998BlockRace/Age Discrimination (unsuccessful); Retaliation (successful)Emotional DistressJury$35,000$35,000$0Financial stress/anxiety over being able to provide for family; difficulty sleeping for approximately three months; testimony was corroborated.
Makinen v City of New York, 2016 WL 880194 (SDNY 2016)SDNY1-Mar-2016CarterDisability Discrimination (Perceived Alcoholism)Emotional DistressJury$75,000$75,000$0[Plaintiff Nardini] Garden variety case. $75k in line with garden variety ED damages upheld in other cases. "Nardini testified that she suffers from continuing anxiety, depression, restless legs, sleeplessness, and panic attacks as a result of Defendants' conduct. She described the physical symptoms of her panic attacks: her legs and armed cramp up, her tongue swells, her heart races, and she experiences tunnel vision and shortness of breath.She testified that she had been prescribed anti-anxiety medication to treat her symptoms and that she continues to take the medication. She testified that she is generally “absolutely terrified of being around alcohol, drinking alcohol, consuming alcohol, being around people that are drinking alcohol.”And she testified about a specific incident at her brother's wedding, where she was asked to pose for a photograph holding a glass of champagne, but refused to do so out of fear that the “picture could end up at CSU, [and] [t]hey could misinterpret that picture.” She ultimately was not in the photo at her brother's wedding because, she testified, “[O]ne picture could mean my job.”"
Makinen v City of New York, 2016 WL 880194 (SDNY 2016)SDNY1-Mar-2016CarterDisability Discrimination (Perceived Alcoholism)PunitiveJury$15,000$15,000$0
Manson v. Friedberg, 2013 WL 2896971 (SDNY 2013)SDNY13-Jun-2013OwenSexual HarassmentEmotional DistressCourt / Default$10,000$10,000$0$53k rejected. P testimony insufficient to justify requested $53k; P testified that she had low self-esteem, felt “unworthy,” and “was having a difficult time feeling trust", that she “didn't have confidence” in herself anymore, that her “thinking process was difficult,” that she didn't have any energy, and that she only wanted to find a job “that didn't require too much”; no testimony re: physical manifestations or medical or psychiatric treatment.
Manzo v. Sovereign Motor Cars, Ltd., 2010 WL 1930237 (EDNY 2010)EDNY11-May-2010GleesonSexual Harassment Hostile Work Environment; RetaliationPunitiveJury$200,000$200,000$0
Marchisotto v. City of New York, No. 05-cv-2699, 2007 WL 1098678 (S.D.N.Y. 2007) SDNY11-Apr-2007Ellis (M.J.)Sexual Harassment (F on M), RetaliationEmotional DistressJury$300,000$300,000$0P's physical health was significantly affected; P felt depressed, demeaned, and humiliated, and that he sought medical help starting in December 2004, and was still receiving medical care at the time of trial; P was prescribed medication to treat anxiety, depression, the inability to perform sexually, and insomnia; Dr. Conciatori testified that he is still taking medication for anxiety, depression, and sleeplessness; Dr. Conciatori diagnosed P as suffering from panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and major depressive disorder; Dr. Pompo corroborated the diagnoses of posttraumatic stress disorder and major depressive disorder; P experienced both physical and emotional symptoms, notably flashbacks, problems sleeping, anxiety, humiliation, difficulty performing sexually, sadness, apathy, lack of concentration, changes in appetite, and significant distress. While Dr. Pompo indicated there was some improvement in Marchisotto's condition by the time of trial, there was ample testimony that Marchisotto was still suffering from the effects of the retaliation.
Marfia v. T.C. Ziraat Bankasi, 903 F.Supp. 463 (SDNY 1995), vacated on other grounds, 100 F.3d 243 (2d Cir. 1996)SDNY15-Sep-1995ChinNational Origin, Age DiscriminationPunitiveJury$1,000,000$1,000,000$0Plaintiff tried to commit suicide, hospitalized for approximately 2 weeks on suicide watch.
Marfia v. T.C. Ziraat Bankasi, 903 F.Supp. 463 (SDNY 1995), vacated on other grounds, 100 F.3d 243 (2d Cir. 1996)SDNY15-Sep-1995ChinNational Origin, Age DiscriminationEmotional Distress ("Pain & Suffering")Jury$100,000$100,000$0Plaintiff tried to commit suicide, hospitalized for approximately 2 weeks on suicide watch.
Matter of Allender v. Mercado, 233 A.D.2d 153, 649 N.Y.S.2d 144 (N.Y. App. Div. 1 Dept. 1996) NYAppDiv112-Nov-1996Sullivan, Rosenberger, Ellerin, Wallach, RubinAge DiscriminationEmotional DistressNYSDHR$100,000$100,000$0$100k "not excessive in comparison to awards for similar injuries." [Citing cases]
Matter of AMG Managing Partners, LLC v. NYSDHR, 2017 WL 1187641 (N.Y. App. Div. 4 Dept. 2017)NYAppDiv431-Mar-2017Carni, Lindley, DeJoseph, Troutman, ScudderHostile Work Environment Sexual HarassmentEmotional DistressNYSDHR$65,000$25,000$40,000Reduction warranted in light of "evidence of complainant's own sexually inappropriate conduct at the workplace, the short duration of the conduct, and the severity of the conduct"
Matter of Anagnostakos v. NYSDHR, 46 AD3d 992, 846 NYS2d 798 (N.Y. App. Div. 3 Dept. 2007)NYAppDiv36-Dec-2007Spain, Carpinello, Mugglin, KaneAge DiscriminationEmotional DistressNYSDHR$45,000$20,000$25,000Humiliation, anguish over extended period of time; however, $20k was the maximum justifiable award in light of past awards for comparable injuries and “in the absence of any proof of the severity and consequences of her condition"
Matter of Bell v. NYSDHR, 36 AD3d 1129, 827 NYS2d 779 (App. Div. 3 Dept. 2007)NYAppDiv318-Jan-2007Peters, Carpinello, Rose, KaneSexual Harassment, Retaliation (denied tenure)Emotional DistressNYSDHR$25,000$25,000$0Financial difficulties.
Matter of Carrier Corp. v NYSDHR, 270 A.D.2d 796 (N.Y. App. Div. 4 Dept. 2000)NYAppDiv43-Mar-2000Pine, Lawton, Wisner, Hurlbutt, BalioGender Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, Hostile Work Environment, RetaliationEmotional DistressNYSDHR$125,000$75,000$50,000Modified to reduce $125k net of taxes to $75k "without any withholding or deductions" for taxes.
Matter of City of Fulton v. NYSDHR, 221 AD2d 971 (App. Div. 4th Dept. 1995)NYAppDiv415-Nov-1995Pine, J. P., Fallon, Callahan, Doerr and Davis, JJ.Disability Discrimination (Disqualification From Firefighter Position)Emotional DistressNYSDHR$50,000$10,000$40,000Emmons testified that, as a result of petitioners' discriminatory conduct in disqualifying him for a position of fire fighter on the basis of physical disability, he felt “very upset and disappointed”, and “bad”, and that he was not being treated fairly; that he was “mean at home” and took it out on his wife and kids; and that he lost sleep over it and thinks about it “[a]ll the time”. However, he never sought medical treatment.
Matter of City of New York v New York State Div. of Human Rights, 283 AD2d 215 (N.Y. App. Div. 1 Dept. 2001)NYAppDiv110-May-2001Sullivan, Nardelli, Williams, Saxe, FriedmanSexual Harassment; RetaliationEmotional DistressNYSDHR$100,000$50,000$50,000Testimony as to severity and duration of distress was not corroborated or substantiated by any medical or other objctive evidence
Matter of Cosmos Forms v. NYSDHR, 150 AD2d 442 (NY App. Div. 2 Dept. 1989)NYAppDiv28-May-1989Rubin, Spatt, BallettaDiscrimination (Race, National Origin)Emotional DistressNYSDHR$35,000$5,000$30,000"sole evidence of mental anguish was complainant's own testimony that she was ‘[e]motionally and physically screwed up‘"
Matter of Greenville Board of Fire Commissioners v. NYSDHR, 277 A.D.2d 314 (NY App. Div. 2 Dept. 2000)NYAppDiv213-Nov-2000Mangano, Miller, Friedmann, FeuersteinSex Discrimination Emotional DistressNYSDHR$100,000$50,000$50,000Award excessive. Mental anguish manifesting physically as irritable bowel syndrome and amenorrhea; while "doctor's testimony provided some support for the assertion that the conditions were related to stress caused by the petitioner's discriminatory practices ... the record also indicates that the irritable bowel syndrome could have been a preexisting condition."
Matter of Hartley Catering, Inc. v. NYSDHR, 66 AD3d 1022 (NY App. Div. 2 Dept 2009) NYAppDiv227-Oct-2009Dillon, Dickerson, Lott, AustinHostile Work Environment Sexual HarassmentEmotional DistressNYSDHR$300,000$300,000$0"[T]he $300,000 award for mental anguish was reasonably related to the wrongdoing and was supported by substantial evidence."
Matter of Kondracke v. Blue, 277 AD2d 953 (NY App. Div. 4 Dept. 2000)NYAppDiv413-Nov-2000Green, Pine, Hayes, Scudder, LawtonHostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment; Race DiscriminationFront PayNYSDHR$0$0$0"Both Kondracke and Burgos have worked for periods of time following the filing of their complaints with the Division, and thus the Commissioner's refusal to award front pay was an appropriate exercise of discretion"
Matter of Kondracke v. Blue, 277 AD2d 953 (NY App. Div. 4 Dept. 2000) (petitioner Burgos)NYAppDiv413-Nov-2000Green, Pine, Hayes, Scudder, LawtonHostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment; Race DiscriminationEmotional DistressNYSDHR$350,000$350,000$0"Both petitioners suffered from major depression, panic disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder that were causally related to the harassment and discrimination they endured at the Center over several months. The incidents of harassment and discrimination were numerous and continuous throughout their employment at the Center and included threats of physical harm by their co-workers. Contrary to OMH's contention, the awards are not excessive or punitive. There was sufficient proof of the severity, the consequences and the duration of the effects on petitioners of the harassment and discrimination by the Center's employee"
Matter of Kondracke v. Blue, 277 AD2d 953 (NY App. Div. 4 Dept. 2000) (petitioner Kondracke)NYAppDiv413-Nov-2000Green, Pine, Hayes, Scudder, LawtonHostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment; Race DiscriminationEmotional DistressNYSDHR$800,000$400,000$400,000"Both petitioners suffered from major depression, panic disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder that were causally related to the harassment and discrimination they endured at the Center over several months. The incidents of harassment and discrimination were numerous and continuous throughout their employment at the Center and included threats of physical harm by their co-workers. Contrary to OMH's contention, the awards are not excessive or punitive. There was sufficient proof of the severity, the consequences and the duration of the effects on petitioners of the harassment and discrimination by the Center's employee"
Matter of NYC Transit Auth. v. NYSDHR, 181 AD2d 891, 581 NYS2d 426 (NY App. Div. 2 Dept. 1992)NYAppDiv230-Mar-1992Mangano, Lawrence, O'Brien, RitterDiscrimination - Sex/PregnancyEmotional DistressNYSDHR$450,000$450,000$0"The complainant was the victim of a series of four intentional episodes of sex discrimination that continued for a period of in excess of one year. She testified that she suffered anguish, guilt, depression, and anger at the time of each occurrence, and that her mental anguish persisted even to the time of the hearing in late 1987 and early 1988, a period of more than six years. Indeed, there is sufficient evidence to support the Commissioner's conclusion that her mental anguish, caused by the unlawful acts of the NYCTA, will continue for the rest of her life."
Matter of NYS Dep't Correct. Servs. v. NYSDHR [respondent Humig], 53 AD3d 823 (NY App. Div. 3 Dept. 2008)NYAppDiv310-Jul-2008Rose, Cardona, Peters, Carpinello, Malone Jr.Hostile work environment (gender, sexual orientation), sexual harassment, retaliationEmotional DistressNYSDHR$850,000$200,000$650,000"Humig and her witnesses testified that, as a result of the discriminatory actions by Wright, she suffered from increased stress, sleeping and eating difficulties, nosebleeds, and that she was physically, mentally and emotionally upset and needed counseling for what her counselor diagnosed as "adjustment disorder with depressive features." Notably, however, Humig attended only four counseling sessions, and she does not claim that she took any leave or was prescribed any medication due to the resulting distress. She testified that Wright's actions caused her to fear for her life and she believed that other correction officers might not come to her aid if a dangerous situation developed." Cited cases (sustaining $400k+) involved more pervasive discrimination and more severe injuries.
Matter of NYSDHR v. Austin, 2021 WL 2690469 (NY App. Div. 1 Dept. 2021)NYAppDiv11-Jul-2021Renwick, Gische, Oing, MendezHostile Work Environment (Race, National Origin)Emotional DistressNYSDHR$5,000$5,000$0No meaningful discussion or analysis.
Matter of NYSDHR v. Hawk, 2021 WL 2389091 (NY App. Div. 4 Dept. 2021)NYAppDiv412-Jun-2021Whalen, Carni, Nemoyer, Curran, WinslowSexual Harassment, Age DiscriminationEmotional DistressNYSDHR$10,000$10,000$0No discussion/analysis.
Matter of NYSDHR v. Miranda, 136 AD3d 1240 (NY App. Div. 3 Dept. 2016)NYAppDiv325-Feb-2016Rose, Peters, McCarthy, LynchSexual harassment hostile work environmentEmotional DistressNYSDHR$25,000$25,000$0$25k to each of 2 petitioners. "Burns testified that, prior to working at the restaurant, she was a victim of rape, and that Paduano's conduct made her feel as though she was "letting [her]self be victimized again." [*3]Her resulting distress required her to reach out to her rape crisis counselor. Anderson testified that, as a result of the harassment, she began seeing a psychologist and was prescribed antianxiety medication, which she was still taking at the time of the hearing. In light of this uncontradicted testimony, and the fact that the award is commensurate with damages awards granted under similar circumstances."
Matter of NYSDHR v. Team Taco Mexico, Corp., 2016 WL 3265489, 140 AD3d 965 (NY App. Div. 2 Dept. 2016)NYAppDiv215-Jun-2016Leventhal, Dickerson, Sgroi, CohenSex-Based Hostile Work Environment; Constructive DischargeEmotional DistressNYSDHR$50,000$50,000$0No discussion/analysis.
Matter of Port Washington Police Dist. v. NYSDHR, 221 AD2d 639 (App. Div. 2 Dept. 1995)NYAppDiv227-Nov-1995Thompson, Altman, Krausman, GoldsteinSex Discrimination Emotional DistressNYSDHR$200,000$5,000$195,000Complainant's discussion of her mental anguish was brief; no evidence of the duration of her condition, its severity or consequences or evidence of treatment.
Matter of Quality Care, Inc. v. Rosa (as Commissioner of NYSDHR), 194 AD2d 610, 599 NYS2d 65 (NY App. Div. 2 Dept. June 7, 1993)NYAppDiv27-Jun-1993Sullivan, Eiber, O'Brien, PizzutoRace/Color DiscriminationEmotional DistressNYSDHR$10,000$5,000$5,000"Here, the sole evidence of mental anguish and humiliation was Bing's testimony that she was “shock[ed]” and “devastated” by her termination, that she was “in a real pickle”, and that she felt bad. We find that, in the absence of any evidence of the duration of Bing's condition, its severity or consequences, and in the absence of evidence of any medical treatment, the Commissioner's award of $10,000 for mental anguish and humiliation was excessive and we recommend that, upon remittitur, a new award not to exceed $5,000 be made"
Matter of R & B Autobody & Radiator, Inc. v. NYSDHR, 31 AD3d 989 (NY App. Div. 3 Dept. 2006)NYAppDiv320-Jul-2006Crew III, Peters, Mugglin, Rose, LahtinenSexual Harassment, Hostile Work EnvironmentCompensatoryNYSDHR$15,000$15,000$0
Matter of State Div. of Human Rights v. Steve's Pier One, Inc., 123 AD3d 728 (NY App. Div. 2 Dept. 2014)NYAppDiv23-Dec-2014Rivera, Hinds-Radix, Duffy, LaSalleSexual Harassment, Hostile Work Environment, Constructive DischargeEmotional DistressNYSDHR$200,000$200,000$0Citing Matter of New York City Tr. Auth. v State Div. of Human Rights, 78 NY2d 207, 218-219 [1991]; Matter of Hartley Catering, Inc. v New York State Div. of Human Rights, 66 AD3d 1022 [2009]; Matter of New York State Dept. of Correctional Servs. v New York State Div. of Human Rights, 53 AD3d at 826; Matter of Under the Elms v Tolbert, 1 AD3d 373, 373-374 [2003]; Sier v Jacobs Persinger & Parker, 276 AD2d 401 [2000]; Matter of Town of Hempstead v State Div. of Human Rights, 233 AD2d 451 [1996].
Matter of Town of Hempstead v. NYSDHR, 649 N.Y.S.2d 942 (NY App. Div. 2d Dept. 1996)NYAppDiv218-Nov-1996Bracken, Goldstein, Luciano, Krausman (dissent)Sexual HarassmentEmotional DistressNYSDHR$500,000$500,000$0Confirming awards made to six complainants, ranging from $200k to $500k. No discussion/analysis of specific awards or associated evidence.
Matter of Town of Hempstead v. NYSDHR, 649 N.Y.S.2d 942 (NY App. Div. 2d Dept. 1996)NYAppDiv218-Nov-1996Bracken, Goldstein, Luciano, Krausman (dissent)Sexual HarassmentEmotional DistressNYSDHR$200,000$200,000$0Confirming awards made to six complainants, ranging from $200k to $500k. No discussion/analysis of specific awards or associated evidence.
Matter of Town of Lumberland v. NYSDHR, 229 AD2d 631, 644 NYS2d 864 (App. Div. 3 Dept. 1996)NYAppDiv33-Jul-1996Spain, Cardona, Mercure, White, CaseyGender Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, Hostile Work Environment, RetaliationEmotional DistressNYSDHR$150,000$20,000$130,000Testimony that P was “very, very upset”, “humiliated”, “embarrassed to be seen in the town”, she “couldn't eat”, “cried”, and was “very frustrated, humiliated”, “a mess”, and “hurt and angry”, depressed; went to physician, who gave her a one-time prescription for tranquilizers; lost 7 pounds. Only proof of emotional distress was P's own testimony; no proof of severity and consequences of condition.
Matter of West Taghkanic Diner II, Inc. v New York State Div. of Human Rights2013 NY Slip Op 02300 [105 AD3d 1106] (App. Div. 3 Dept. April 4, 2013)NYAppDiv34-Apr-2013Mercure, Rose, McCarthy, GarryGender Discrimination, Hostile work Environment, Sexual Harassment, RetaliationEmotional DistressNYSDHR$20,000$20,000$0$20k to each of 2 plaintiffs. Financial hardship and stress that they experienced upon being fired, as well as their emotional anguish and humiliation resulting from the inappropriate conduct and physical contact.
Mayo-Coleman v. American Sugar Holdings, Inc., 14-cv-79, 2018 WL 2684100 (SDNY 2018)SDNY5-Jun-2018CrottyHostile Work Environment Sexual HarassmentEmotional DistressJury$1,700,000$500,000$1,200,000Severe emotional distress, stopped eating, lost weight, hair fell out, stomach in knots, migraine headaches, depressed, impacted relationship with boyfriend resulting in break up, depressed, diagnosed with "major depressive disorder", medical treatment by psychiatrist and therapist, took psychotropic medications, corroboration.
McGrory v. City of NY, 99-4062, 2004 WL 2290898 (SDNY 2004)SDNY8-Oct-2004Maas (M.J.)Hostile Work Environment (Race/White); RetaliationEmotional DistressJury$533,390$100,000$433,390Diagnosed by psychiatrist (Dr. Martin Hurwitz) as suffering from major depressive disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), prescribed medication, suicidal, exacerbation of prior condition; but psychiatrist attributed most, if not all, of P's extensive psychological problems to events for which D was not liable
McIntosh v. Irving Trust Co., 887 F.Supp. 662 (SDNY 1995)SDNY3-Jun-1995KoeltlRetaliation Emotional DistressJury$219,428$20,000$199,428P testimony only; subjective feelings; felt humiliated; shocked and angry" when given reprimand; humiliation and embarrassment; "short-lived" physical manifestations of mental distress (stayed home sick from work for several days and saw a doctor once b/c of ailments related to nervious tension; weakness in legs, stomach crmaps, chest pains, felt "beaten down" mentally; upon termination, felt "devasted", anger, and depression; feelings of inadequacy b/c his wife had to support him.
McIntyre v. Manhattan Ford, Lincoln-Mercury, Inc., 256 AD2d 269 (App. Div. 1 Dept. Dec. 29, 1998)NYAppDiv129-Dec-1998Milonas, Ellerin, Rubin, MazzarelliSexual harassment, retaliatory discharge, intentional infliction of emotional distressPunitiveJury$2,500,000$1,500,000$1,000,000$1.5m warranted based on egregiousness of defendant's misconduct & wealth of defendant's corporate parent.
McIntyre v. Manhattan Ford, Lincoln-Mercury, Inc., 256 AD2d 269 (App. Div. 1 Dept. Dec. 29, 1998)NYAppDiv129-Dec-1998Milonas, Ellerin, Rubin, MazzarelliSexual harassment, retaliatory discharge, intentional infliction of emotional distressEmotional DistressJury$1,300,000$600,000$700,000Award reduced to $653k, inclusive of $53k back wages. Award for IIED duplicative of awards for emotional suffering for sexual harassment and retaliatory discharge.
Meacham v. Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory, 185 F.Supp.2d 193 (NDNY 2002), aff'd in part, 381 F.3d 56 (2d Cir. 2004), vacated on other grounds, 461 F.3d 134 (2d Cir. 2006)NDNY13-Feb-2002HomerAge DiscriminationEmotional DistressJury$653,497$125,000$528,497Plaintiff Reynheer. [Multiple-plaintiff case.] Court applied "deviates materially" standard. RIF made P feel same as when parents died; depression, vegetative, exacerbation of high blood pressure, sleeplessness, increased drinking, irritable, withdrew from family and friends, ceased exercising, never sought treatment, humiliation after returning to employer as janitor, P suffered ED in 5 years following RIF, no significant physical manifestations, no treatment.
Mendez v. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., 746 F.Supp.2d 575 (SDNY 2010)SDNY30-Sep-2010McMahonDiscrimination (national origin, race, disability); retaliation (surveillance)PunitiveJury$2,000,000$300$1,999,700Remittitur. Applying "shock judicial conscience" standard under Lee v. Edwards, 101 F.3d 805 (2d Cir.1996).
Mendez v. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., 746 F.Supp.2d 575 (SDNY 2010)SDNY30-Sep-2010McMahonDiscrimination (national origin, race, disability); retaliation (surveillance)Emotional DistressJury$1,000,000$10,000$990,000Remittitur. P did not attribute depression, anxiety, etc. to secret camera/surveillance for 8 days. Jury award inappropriately motivated by sympathy and based on non-actionable/discriminatory conduct.
Menghi v. Hart, 745 F. Supp. 2d 89 (EDNY 2010)EDNY30-Sep-2010Wall (M.J.)1983, Drivers' Privacy Protection Act, harassing phone calls by arresting officerEmotional DistressJury$1,000,000$500,000$500,000Remittitur. ED was "significant" (more than "garden variety" but less than "egregious"); fear, etc. from harassing phone calls including rape threat; sleep disturbance, nightmares, depression, crying spells, panic attacks, feeling vulnerable, feeling tense when seeing police officers, and fear of being alone in the house; treating psychologist; physical symptoms (Graves' disease); medication; facts analogous to Sulkowska v. City of New York, 129 F.Supp.2d 274 (S.D.N.Y.2001).
Miller v. City of Ithaca, 10-cv-597, 2015 WL 9223755 (NDNY 2015), aff'd in relevant part, 758 Fed.Appx. 101 (2d Cir. Dec. 18, 2018)NDNY17-Dec-2015SharpeRetaliation (reassignment; change to beat assignments) Emotional DistressJury$220,000$50,000$170,000Remittitur warranted; $220k excessive; "garden variety" category. As opposed to the retaliation claim based on the Notice of Discipline ($260,001 held not excessive), symptoms re: beat assignment change were "minimal."
Miller v. City of Ithaca, 10-cv-597, 2015 WL 9223755 (NDNY 2015), vacated on other grounds, 758 Fed.Appx. 101 (2d Cir. Dec. 18, 2018)NDNY17-Dec-2015SharpeRetaliation (Notice of Discipline) Emotional DistressJury$260,001$260,001$0P offered proof that, as a result of defendants’ conduct in connection with the issuance of a Notice of Discipline, he suffered sleeplessness, hypervigilance, depression, anger, erectile dysfunction, agoraphobia, anxiety, panic attacks, incontinence, shaking, headaches, fearfulness, weight loss, and drinking problems. He sought medical treatment and was prescribed medication in connection with his symptoms.
Monette v. Cty. of Nassau, No. 11-CV-539 JFB AKT, 2015 WL 1469982 (E.D.N.Y. Mar. 31, 2015)EDNY31-Mar-2015BiancoFirst Amendment Retaliation; TerminationEmotional DistressJury$150,000$150,000$0Award was in line with other cases where, as here, there was no medical evidence and damages were supported solely by P's testimony; P testified concerning the meotional and physical toll of his firing (ongoing anxiety, sleep issues, asked why terminated, intense headaches, upset stoomach a couple of times a week).
Moore v. Houlihan’s Restaurant, 07-3129, 2011 WL 2470023 (EDNY 2011)EDNY10-May-2011Reyes (M.J.)Race/Sexual Orientation Discrimination; RetaliationEmotional DistressCourt / Default$50,000$50,000$0Award (greater than "garden variety") warranted in light of defendant's egregious conduct, P's testimony re: loss of enjoyment in personal and professional life, and report of psychologist diagnosing P with depression.
Moskowitz v Coscette, 3 F. App'x 1 (2d Cir. 2001)CA222-Jan-2001Sack, Sotomayor, KatzmannFirst Amendment Retaliation; USERRA Retaliation, 42 USC 1983Emotional DistressJury$125,000$125,000$0Headaches, nightmares, diarrhea, night sweats, nervousness, anxiety, migraines
Moskowitz v Coscette, 3 F. App'x 1 (2d Cir. 2001)CA222-Jan-2001Sack, Sotomayor, KatzmannFirst Amendment Retaliation; USERRA Retaliation, 42 USC 1983PunitiveJury$75,000$75,000$0Ratio of punitive to compensatory (60%) was reasonable.
Mugavero v. Arms Acres, Inc., 680 F.Supp.2d 544 (SDNY 2010)SDNY15-Jan-2010GardepheRetaliation (termination)Emotional DistressJury$100,000$100,000$0Increased anxiety, insomnia; corroborating medical evidence; D conduct “went far beyond typical discipline imposed in the workplace, and threatened Plaintiff ’s ability to earn a living and practice her profession.”
Nana, Idrice v. LE Viking LLC d/b/a Bistro Chez Lucienne, 17-928, 2019 WL 3244181 (SDNY 2019)SDNY19-Jul-2019Wang, Ona (M.J.)Retaliation (FLSA/NYLL)Emotional DistressCourt / Default$5,000$5,000$0"Plaintiff's only evidence of emotional distress is his declaration that he suffered from sleep issues and that he felt uncomfortable when he walked near his old place of employment. (ECF 82 ¶ 34). At the inquest hearing, Plaintiff admitted that there was nothing in the record to support anything other than garden-variety emotional distress."
Nanjin v. Dollar Mountain, Inc., 14-5758, 2015 WL 6125436 (SDNY 2015)SDNY25-Sep-2015PauleySexual HarassmentEmotional DistressCourt / Default$25,000$25,000$0"Najnin's evidence of emotional distress consists of her testimony that she felt extremely uncomfortable, shocked, disgusted and intimidated, and distraught as a result of Defendants' sexual harassment. She also states that she began taking Xanax to combat stress. Najnin's allegations of emotional distress are relatively “garden variety,” and are stated as conclusions drawn by Najnin herself. Without any medical documentation, a damages award of $75,000 is inappropriate."
New York City Transit Authority v. State Division of Human Rights, 181 A.D.2d 891, 581 NYS2d 426 (NY App. Div. 2 Dept. 1992)NYAppDiv230-Mar-1992Mangano, O'Brien, RitterSex/Pregnancy Discrimination Emotional DistressNYSDHR$450,000$0$450,000On remand from NY Court of Appeals, 77 N.Y.2d 801 (which reversed remittitur of ALJ award from $450k to $75k). Anguish, guilt, depression, anger, persistence of mental distress to the time of testimony; four intentional episodes of sex discrimination that continued for more than one year; evidence to support conclusion that mental anguish caused by unlawful acts will continue for the rest of her life.
Norris v. New York City College of Technology, 07-cv-853, 2009 WL 82556 (E.D.N.Y. Jan. 14, 2009)EDNY14-Jan-2009BlockRetaliation (Complaint of Sex Discrimination)PunitiveJury$425,000$25,000$400,000Remittitur warranted. While the ratio of punitive ($425k) to compensatory damages ($75k), or 5.67:1, did not "shock the judicial conscience", the court remitted the $425k award in light of the fact that (1) the civil penalty for violating the NYCHRL for a pattern-or-practice resulting in employment discrimination was $250k, and (2) the decision to terminate P after learning of her complaint of discrimination "was a transient outburst of pique and frustration" and "while such conduct warrants some amount of punishment and deterrence, it is not sufficiently reprehensible to support the jury's award".
Norville v. Staten Island University Hosp., No. 96 Civ. 5222 (E.D.N.Y. Oct. 20, 2003), aff'd, 112 Fed.Appx. 92 (2d Cir.2004)EDNY20-Oct-2003MelanconDisability DiscriminationEmotional DistressJury$575,000$30,000$545,000Remittitur warranted (affirmed); award unwarranted in light of comparable cases. Difficulty sleeping, panic attacks, spent most days crying or watching TV, fatigue, anemic, nervous stomach, socially reclusive and aggressive towards friends, loss of job was blow to identity as independent person and model for her children, never sought psychological treatment for financial reasons and cultural unacceptance, testimony of licensed clnical social worker; in sum, while P testified to feelings of distress and physical discomfort due to termination, she offered modest evidence evidence of duration and severity of suffering and presented little evidence to corroborate vague and conclusory testimony, and evidence of medical treatment was quantitatively and qualitatively insuffient to uphold award.
NYS Dep't Correct. Servs. v. NYSDHR, 207 AD2d 585 (N.Y. App. Div. 3 Dept. 1994)NYAppDiv34-Aug-1994Mikoll, Mercure, Casey, YesawichGender DiscriminationEmotional DistressNYSDHR$25,000$10,000$15,000No proof of severity and consequences of condition; $10k was consistent with awards in prior cases.
NYS Division of Human Rights v. County of Onondaga Sheriff's Dep't., 127 AD2d 986 (NY App. Div. 4 Dept. 1987)NYAppDiv427-Feb-1987Dillon, Callahan, Green, Balio, DavisDiscrimination (gender, race)Emotional DistressNYSDHR$30,000$15,000$15,000Upset, depressed, demeaned, insecure, nightmares; no indication of length of time over which consequences were suffered, or frequency of nightmares; no indication of medical/psychologicla treatment or medication.
Offei v. Omar, No. 11 Civ. 4283 (SAS) (MHD), 2012 WL 2086294 (May 18, 2012), R&R adopted, No. 11 Civ. 4283 (SAS) (MHD), 2012 WL 2086356 (S.D.N.Y. June 8, 2012) SDNY18-May-2012Dolinger (MJ)Sexual AssaultPunitiveCourt / Default$100,000$100,000$0Criminal act; D's "misconduct, although brief, had very serious long-term consequences for the plaintiff and her family, and was directed at someone whom he undoubtedly perceived as vulnerable and hence perhaps compliant to his wishes or at least fearful of complaining"; need for deterrence was "particularly appropriate in this context, in which low-level hotel employees and other service workers must labor in circumstances that expose them to potentially great harm from predatory customers of their employers"; D defaulted and therefore surrendered the opportunity to demonstrate that his financial circumstances should limit the award amount.
Offei v. Omar, No. 11 Civ. 4283 (SAS) (MHD), 2012 WL 2086294 (May 18, 2012), R&R adopted, No. 11 Civ. 4283 (SAS) (MHD), 2012 WL 2086356 (S.D.N.Y. June 8, 2012) SDNY18-May-2012Dolinger (MJ)Sexual AssaultEmotional DistressCourt / Default$250,000$250,000$0One-time incident of sexual assault where plaintiff experienced severe emotional distress that required her to take anti-anxiety medication on a daily basis
Olsen v. County of Nassau, 615 F. Supp. 2d 35 (EDNY 2009)EDNY7-May-2009Boyle (M.J.)Gender Discrimination, RetaliationEmotional DistressJury$100,000$100,000$0[Plaintiff Cribbin] Evidence included testimony that plaintiff sought therapy on a weekly basis, began taking antidepressants, began seeing a clinical social worker from whom she continued to seek treatment as of the time of trial, had less patience and difficulty concentrating, took her feelings of anger and frustration at her work situation out on her family, experienced feelings of disappointment, depression, anger, frustration and stress, suffered from feelings of anger and powerlessness, experienced difficulty sleeping and lack of motivation, was very short-tempered, cried often, was diagnosed with adjustment disorder and posttraumatic stress. The social worker attributed plaintiff’s symptoms to the behavior plaintiff was being subjected to at work and to plaintiff’s feelings that she was being treated differently because she was female.
Olsen v. County of Nassau, 615 F. Supp. 2d 35 (EDNY 2009)EDNY7-May-2009Boyle (M.J.)Gender Discrimination, RetaliationEmotional DistressJury$400,000$400,000$0[Plaintiff Ketcham] P testified that the discrimination she suffered affected her “immensely,” and about work-related stress and anxiety, which affected her relationships with her husband and children. Plaintiff suffered arm pain, chest pain, fatigue, sleeplessness, migraine headaches, shingles, nightmares, and feelings of powerlessness. Plaintiff was treated by a clinical social worker/psychotherapist, who testified that she diagnosed plaintiff with generalized anxiety disorder and that plaintiff “attributed her anxiety to the discrimination she was being subjected to at work.”
Olsen v. County of Nassau, 615 F. Supp. 2d 35 (EDNY 2009)EDNY7-May-2009Boyle (M.J.)Gender Discrimination, RetaliationEmotional DistressJury$500,000$500,000$0[Plaintiff Olsen] P testified that the discrimination affected her eating and exercise habits, causing her weight to fluctuate; that she avoided having friends and family over to her house, which affected her relationships; that her sleeping patterns were affected; and that she experienced difficulty concentrating. Plaintiff treated with a psychologist, whom she met with on a weekly basis, and with whom she was still undergoing treatment at the time of trial. The psychologist diagnosed plaintiff with depression and anxiety, dysthymia (i.e., a chronic depressive neurosis), and ultimately adjustment disorder with mixed emotional features. Plaintiff’s symptoms included palpitations and a rapid heartbeat, for which she took the prescription medication Xanax. Plaintiff also suffered from, inter alia, migraine headaches, diminishing tolerance with resulting irritability, diminished self-esteem, and impaired energy levels and ability to concentrate.
Ortiz–Del Valle v. National Basketball Association, 42 F.Supp.2d 334 (S.D.N.Y. 1999)SDNY31-Mar-1999SteinGender DiscriminationEmotional DistressJury$750,000$20,000$730,000No evidence at trial of emotional harm endured; only testimony that D never "dignified" P's existence and that P was made to feel like an "invisible person." No evidence of doctor visits or treatment, of duration of mental anguish, or severity or consequences that would support an award of $750k.
Ortiz–Del Valle v. National Basketball Association, 42 F.Supp.2d 334 (S.D.N.Y.1999)SDNY31-Mar-1999SteinGender DiscriminationPunitiveJury$7,000,000$250,000$6,750,000Remittitur warranted; $7m (ratio of punitive to compensatory of 58.3x) was excessive per BMW v. Gore. Citing cases.
Osorio v. Source Enterprises, Inc., 05-10029, 2007 WL 683985 (SDNY 2007)SDNY2-Mar-2007RakoffRetaliation for complaint of gender discriminationEmotional Distress, Reputational HarmJury$4,000,000$4,000,000$0"Plaintiff, having risen from humble beginnings to the position of Editor-in-Chief of this prominent publication, only to be summarily dismissed in retaliation for filing a complaint of gender discrimination, might reasonably have suffered, as she averred, substantial emotional distress and reputational harm-and a jury, having found that such retaliation was intentional, could reasonably have concluded, under any standard,3 to award substantial damages."
Osorio v. Source Enterprises, Inc., 05-10029, 2007 WL 683985 (SDNY 2007)SDNY2-Mar-2007RakoffDefamation (against individual defendant)Emotional Distress; Reputational harmJury$3,500,000$3,500,000$0
Patterson v. Balsamico, 440 F.3d 104 (2d Cir. 2006)CA227-Feb-2006Koeltl, McLaughlin, SackRace Discrimination (Termination); Hostile Work EnvironmentPunitiveJury$20,000$10,000$10,000While the Gore factors did not warrant reduction, the court found that reduction was warranted based on defendant's limited finances.
Patterson v. Balsamico, 440 F.3d 104 (2d Cir. 2006)CA227-Feb-2006Koeltl, McLaughlin, SackRace Discrimination (Termination); Hostile Work EnvironmentEmotional DistressJury$100,000$100,000$0Plaintiff offered testimony regarding his humiliation, embarrassment, loss of self-confidence, sleeplessness, headaches, stomach pains, and burning in his eyes from the use of mace in the attack.
Perdue v. City University of New York, 13 F.Supp.2d 326 (EDNY 1998)EDNY17-Jun-1998BlockGender DiscriminationEmotional Distress; Pain & SufferingJury$85,000$85,000$0"Perdue testified that she felt disgraced, embarrassed, scared, and concerned that her future and reputation would be ruined. Tr. 8/20/97 at 29–30, 34, 36, 43–44. When testifying about how she felt about the way that other individuals in her department spoke, Perdue stated that “I have never experienced this type of talk in a professional environment in athletics before, and not since. *** It made me feel belittled. It made me feel not equal. It made me feel disrespected. It made me feel that no matter what I did, it would not be valued.” Id. at 36. Consequently, she experienced significant stress which aggravated a preexisting back condition, causing her to consult with a chiropractor and physician and to take pain killers."
Petrovits v. NYC Transit Auth., 95-9872, 2003 WL 22349676 (SDNY 2003)SDNY15-Oct-2003Eaton (M.J.)Sex Discrimination (Failure to Promote)Emotional DistressJury$150,000$150,000$0$150k was "generous but not excessive"; favorably citing Phillips v. Bowen, 278 F.3d 103 (2d Cir.2002), which upheld a $400k emotional distress award where P did not seek medical or psychological treatment; unlike P here the P in Phillips was called "insubordinate" and "stupid", "which seems more stressful than not being promoted."
Phillips v. Bowen, 278 F.3d 103 (2d Cir. 2002)CA224-Jan-2002Pooler, McLaughlin, Martin (designation; dissent)First Amendment RetaliationEmotional DistressJury$400,000$400,000$0Affirming district court's refusal to reduce $400k jury award; "Plaintiff submitted evidence of ongoing harassment by each defendant over a five-year period. Phillips and her boyfriend testified in detail about her emotional distress, physical illness, and the effects of defendants' conduct on her lifestyle and relationships. Phillips' co-workers testified about the deterioration they observed in Phillips. Other less direct indicia of plaintiff's damages came from the defendants themselves, who unapologetically described their treatment of plaintiff." P said that defendants' conduct caused her stress resulting in her crying excessively, being sick to her stomach, having diarrhea, and avoiding going to work.
Poliard v. Saintilus Day Care Center, Inc., 11-5174, 2013 WL 1346238 (EDNY 2013)EDNY7-Mar-2013Bloom (M.J.)Religion, National Origin DiscriminationEmotional DistressCourt / Default$10,000$10,000$0"Plaintiff testified that her termination by defendant resulted in her family's eviction from their home and caused significant emotional stress for plaintiff and her four children. See Inq. Tr. at 20, 24; id. at 14 (“I've spent three years sleeping in people's houses.... It was hard.... I lost everything.”). Plaintiff testified that her supervisor's conduct after her termination compounded this stress, and described her supervisor's refusal to provide a W–2 form that plaintiff requested in order to seek a tax refund. Id. at 17–18. However, she acknowledged that she did not seek medical attention for her distress.10 Id. at 20. Absent extraordinary circumstances, plaintiffs vague testimony regarding her “pain,” “embarrassment,” and “humiliat [ion],” places her claim for emotional distress damages at the lower end of the emotional distress damages spectrum. "
Port Auth. Police Asian Jade Soc. v. Port Auth., 681 F.Supp.2d 456 (SDNY 2010)SDNY14-Jan-2010CedarbaumDiscrimination; Failure to PromoteEmotional DistressJury$75,000$75,000$0[Plaintiff Lew]. Requested remittitur to $20k denied; citing cases.
Port Auth. Police Asian Jade Soc. v. Port Auth., 681 F.Supp.2d 456 (SDNY 2010)SDNY14-Jan-2010CedarbaumDiscrimination; Failure to PromoteEmotional DistressJury$250,000$250,000$0[Plaintiffs Eng, Lim] Requested remittitur to $50k denied; citing cases.
Port Auth. Police Asian Jade Soc. v. Port Auth., 681 F.Supp.2d 456 (SDNY 2010)SDNY14-Jan-2010CedarbaumDiscrimination; Failure to PromoteEmotional DistressJury$100,000$100,000$0[Plaintiffs Fong, Chin]. Requested remittitur to $25k denied; citing cases.
Quinby v. WestLB AG, 2008 WL 3826695 (SDNY 2008)SDNY15-Aug-2008PauleyRetaliation (termination; denying bonus; prevent pension from vesting)PunitiveJury$1,300,000$750,000$550,000P established that D acted maliciously when it retaliated against her; conduct can be described as represensible.
Quinby v. WestLB AG, 2008 WL 3826695 (SDNY 2008)SDNY15-Aug-2008PauleyRetaliation (termination; denying bonus; prevent pension from vesting)Emotional DistressJury$500,000$300,000$200,000P testified that she felt stressed, crushed, and shocked and devastated. She also testified that she was subjected to an extreme level of public scrutiny and that she suffered from headaches and developed hives and welts, and further that the litigation costs were "crushing" and depleted her life savings.
Quinn v. Nassau County Police Dep't., 53 F.Supp.2d 347 (EDNY 1999)EDNY28-Jun-1999SpattRace Discrimination; Sexual Harassment; RetaliationEmotional DistressJury$250,000$250,000$0 "Quinn's testimony, which his social worker corroborated, as to the emotional distress he suffered from years of chronic, pervasive, humiliating and severe sexual orientation harassment adequately supports the award of compensatory damages in this case." $250k did not "shock the conscience" and was in line with comparable cases. P was ridiculed, humiliated, abused, and singled out because of his sexual orientation.
Quintero v. Angels of the World, Inc., 19-cv-6126, 2021 WL 4464123 (EDNY 2021)EDNY10-Sep-2021MannRace Discrimination; Sexual Harassment; RetaliationPunitiveCourt / Default$15,000$15,000$0Egregious conduct (including sexually charged comments, demands for sex) warranted award of punitive damages; amount determined by reference to comparable case law.
Quintero v. Angels of the World, Inc., 19-cv-6126, 2021 WL 4464123 (EDNY 2021)EDNY10-Sep-2021MannRace Discrimination; Sexual Harassment; RetaliationEmotional DistressCourt / Default$30,000$30,000$0Stress, anxiety, physical manifestations (insomnia, weight loss (30 pounds)); while allegations of emotional distress aer significant, claims were unsupported with any medical or mental health records, or treatment with a medical provider; P affidavit did not address duration of emotional distress, and there was no corroborating evidence.
Rainone v. Potter, 388 F. Supp. 2d 120 (EDNY 2005)EDNY17-Sep-2005Spatt[Federal/USPS employee] Gender discrimination, retaliation (denial of promotion)Emotional DistressJury$175,000$50,000$125,000Remittitur. Applying "shock judicial conscience" standard. P testimony only; mind was "swimming", future looked "grim", developed sleeping and “other manifestations.”
Ramirez v. NYC Off-Track Betting Corp., 93-0682, 1996 WL 210001 (SDNY 1996), affirmed in relevant part, 112 F.3d 38 (2d Cir. 1997)SDNY30-Apr-1996PreskaRetaliation, 14th Amendment Due Process ViolationEmotional DistressJury$1,145,625$500,000$645,625Remittitur warranted. (Total jury award of $2.58m; $2.58m minus $1,434,375 (pecuniary, lost wages + medical); thus $1,145,625 allocated to pain & suffering/emotional damages.) Trial evidence demonstrated that the loss of employment, the loss of health insurance and benefits, and the emotional pain of being arbitrarily and summarily dismissed aggravated plaintiff's psychological problems to such an extreme extent that he ceased to be able to function in society; substantial evidence to support a finding that this inability to function would persist indefinitely into the future; testimony by psychiatrist; P was unable to work.
Ravina v. Columbia University, 16-CV-2137, 2019 WL 1450449 (SDNY 2019) SDNY31-Mar-2019Abrams, RonnieDiscrimination (Gender), Retaliation (due to sexual harassment accusation) [NYCHRL]PunitiveJury$500,000$250,000$250,000$250k punitive = maximum civil city law penalty
Ravina v. Columbia University, 16-CV-2137, 2019 WL 1450449 (SDNY 2019) SDNY31-Mar-2019Abrams, RonnieDiscrimination (Gender), Retaliation (due to sexual harassment accusation) [NYCHRL]Emotional DistressJury$750,000$500,000$250,000Remittitur warranted. Significant and longstanding emotional distress supported by evidence in the form of plaintiff's testimony and corroboration of a medical professional; reputational injury (disparaging emails widely distriuted to prominent members of P's professional community) in addition to emotional harm. Insomnia, herniated disc, anxiety, weight gain, suicidal thoughts; psychiatrist testified that P sufered from “extreme anxiety, disturbed sleep, disturbed appetite, impaired ability to enjoy usually pleasurable activities, fears, distrust, aversion to social situations, at times she's felt suicidal, and deep concern about her long-term prospects to achieve success" and that P "suffered from generalized anxiety disorder, and that she also experienced symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress", and that P;s symptoms were "severe" and her prognosis was "poor."
Reinach v. Wisehart, 209 A.D.2d 332, 619 N.Y.S.2d 14 (N.Y. App. Div. 1 Dept. 1994)NYAppDiv122-Nov-1994Asch, Rubin, Nardelli, TomReligious Discrimination (Termination b/c of Sabbath Observance)Emotional DistressJury$12,500$12,500$0No discussion/analysis.
Reiter v. Maxi-Aids, Inc., 14-cv-3712, 2018 WL 557864 (EDNY 2018)EDNY19-Jan-2018WexlerDisability Discrimination (by association), retaliationPunitiveJury$400,000$50,000$350,000Applying ADA $50k damages cap.
Reiter v. Metro. Transp. Auth. of New York, 01-cv-2762, 2003 WL 22271223 (SDNY 2003)SDNY30-Sep-2003KoeltlRetaliationEmotional DistressJury$140,000$10,000$130,000Remittur warranted. P, "while testifying to feelings of distress-being stressed, nervous, on edge, clammy-as well as the circumstances creating his distress, did not detail the severity, duration, or consequences of his mental suffering, which were relatively minor on all fronts. The evidence of his mental injury is largely vague and conclusory testimony, without any evidence of medical treatment, and there are no signs that his demotion disrupted his family or personal life. Moreover, the plaintiff, while suffering some loss of status, retained a significant job at the same salary, which increased with standard raises to over $125,000. The jury award of $140,000 is plainly based on sympathy or speculation rather than dispassionate common sense."
Rensselaer Cty. Sheriff's Dep't v. N.Y. State Div. of Human Rights, 131 A.D.3d 777 (N.Y. App. Div. 3d Dept. 2015), upholding Seabury v. Rensselaer Cty., NYSDHR Case No. 10144564 (April 23, 2013)NYAppDiv313-Aug-2015McCarthy, Peters, Egan Jr., RoseSexual HarassmentEmotional DistressNYSDHR$300,000$300,000$0"...Seabury testified that the male coworkers' harassment led to extensive psychological trauma that included suicidal ideations and required medication. Seabury's psychiatrist confirmed these reports and testified that he had diagnosed Seabury with posttraumatic stress disorder and major depressive disorder. The psychiatrist opined that the causes of such conditions were Seabury's frequent and recurring thoughts regarding the harassment that she suffered at the correctional facility. ..."
Rhoades v. Niagara Mohawk Power Corp., 202 A.D.2d 762, 608 N.Y.S.2d 733 (3d Dept. 1994)NYAppDiv310-Mar-1994White, Cardona, Mercure, Crew III, WeissGender/Sex DiscriminationEmotional DistressJury$1,000,000$350,000$650,000Jury (in un-itemized verdict) awarded compensatory damages of $1 million; trial court reduced to $575k. "Considering the fact that plaintiff showed lost income of $226,000 and the psychiatric condition she suffered from as the result of defendants' discriminatory conduct resolved itself within two years, an award of $350,000 affords plaintiff reasonable compensation."
Roberts v. United Parcel Service, Inc., 115 F.Supp.3d 344 (EDNY 2015)EDNY27-Jul-2015WeinsteinHostile Work Environment (Sexual Orientation); Retaliation PunitiveJury$50,000$50,000$0Denying motion to vacate punitive damages award ($25k per each of 2 claims); D acted with reckless indifference to P's multiple complaints of sexual orientation discrimination over many years; investigation was "anything but prompt" and determined, "contrary to the overwhelming evidence of discrimination, that no discrimination had occurred; harasser not meaningfully disciplined and allowed to continue supervising P for a short period; "cavalier atttitude towards plaintiff's serious charges of harassment."
Roberts v. United Parcel Service, Inc., 115 F.Supp.3d 344 (EDNY 2015)EDNY27-Jul-2015WeinsteinHostile Work Environment (Sexual Orientation); Retaliation Emotional DistressJury$50,000$50,000$0Garden variety category conceded; remittitur denied; $25k per count upheld. Court rejected D argument that the award was duplicative; since "each damages award was sufficiently causally connected to a separate cause of action" there was no duplication. Evidence: P testified that treatment caused her emotional and physical distress (hair fell out, can't sleep, cry a lot, causing problems in marriage).
Rodriguez v. Express World Wide, LLC, 2014 WL 1347369 (EDNY 2014)EDNY16-Jan-2014Levy (MJ)Sexual HarassmentEmotional DistressCourt / Default$10,000$10,000$0Plaintiff testified as to the sexual harassment and the effect on her emotional health. She stated that the sexual advances made her feel uncomfortable and uneasy, that she was intimidated by the harasser’s actions, and that she felt humiliated, scared, and afraid. She also asserted that she suffered “severe emotional distress and physical ailments.” She did not submit any medical or mental health records. While describing plaintiff’s emotional distress as “significant,” the court noted that her allegations were “stated as conclusions drawn by plaintiff herself [and did] not address the duration of her emotional distress” and the brief duration of plaintiff’s employment.
Rosas v. Balter Sales Co., Inc. et al, 12-CV-6557, 2018 WL 3199253 (June 29, 2018)SDNY29-Jun-2018BroderickRace DiscriminationPunitiveJury$1,400,000$700,000$700,000
Rosas v. Balter Sales Co., Inc. et al, 12-CV-6557, 2018 WL 3199253 (June 29, 2018)SDNY29-Jun-2018BroderickRace DiscriminationEmotional DistressJury$800,000$180,000$620,000"Here, Plaintiff provided evidence of at least a “garden-variety,” if not a “significant,” emotional distress claim. Indeed, both Plaintiff and Dr. Steven Reich, a psychologist, proffered testimony indicating that the harassment and discrimination committed by Defendants caused Plaintiff to suffer an adjustment disorder with mixed anxiety and depressed mood. Plaintiff testified that his symptoms ranged from trouble sleeping to lack of appetite, crying twice a month, weight loss, a reduction in sexual libido, and a significant increase in alcohol consumption. Plaintiff consumed so much alcohol that he was hospitalized and ultimately joined an Alcoholics Anonymous treatment program in March 2013. Plaintiff lost thirty pounds in ten months due to anxiety. Plaintiff also testified that he had problems sleeping; he slept only five hours per night and would wake up frequently."
Ruhling v. Newsday, Inc., 04-2430, 2008 WL 2065811 (EDNY 2008)EDNY13-May-2008Lindsay (M.J.)Disability DiscriminationEmotional DistressJury$100,000$50,000$50,000Remittitur. Physical manifestation of stress; evidence of ED included P testimony and corroborated by medical testimony from treating physician and physical therapist; ED was more than "garden variety"; aggravation of repetitive stress injury (RSI); stress was attributable to reprimand, but also partially attributable to other workplace events/rejected claims; citing Kinneary v. City of New York, 536 F.Supp.2d 326 (S.D.N.Y.2008).
Saber v. New York State Department of Financial Services, 15-cv-5944, 2018 WL 3491695 (SDNY 2018)SDNY20-Jul-2018SchofieldNational Origin Discrimination (Failure to Promote)Emotional DistressJury$2,500,000$125,000$2,375,000Remittitur warranted. Garden variety. Offended, angry, upset, concerned, feeling targeted, insecurity about future, isolated, sleep problems, humiliation, embarrassment; wife testified that P became more reserved, doesn't like to engage with people, upset, sleep problems, distracted; no treatment.
Salemi v. Glorias Tribeca, Inc., 115 AD3d 569, 2014 NY Slip Op 01838NYAppDiv120-Mar-2014Acosta, Renwick, Moskowitz, Freedman, FeinmanDiscrimination (religion, sexual orientation)PunitiveJury$1,200,000$1,200,000$0
Salemi v. Glorias Tribeca, Inc., 115 AD3d 569, 2014 NY Slip Op 01838 (NY App. Div. 1 Dept. 2014)NYAppDiv120-Mar-2014Acosta, Renwick, Moskowitz, Freedman, FeinmanDiscrimination (Religion, Sexual Orientation)Emotional DistressJury$400,000$400,000$0No discussion/analysis.
Santana et al v. G.E.M. Medical Management, 0305261/2008, 2017 WL 4927181 (N.Y.Sup.), 2017 N.Y. Slip Op. 32289(U) (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Bx Cty. 2017)NY Supreme Bronx 20-Oct-2017TuittPregnancy Discrimination (Termination)Emotional DistressJury$1,500,000$500,000$1,000,000Remittitur; reduced from $1.5m to $500k per plaintiff. "All three of the plaintiffs here were found to suffer post-traumatic stress disorder (hereinafter “PTSD”) by plaintiffs' expert Dr. Charles Robins, a clinical psychologist, whose work the past 30 years has focused on traumatized patients. Each plaintiff was diagnosed with clinically elevated levels of depression and anxiety and long-term PTSD, i.e., five years after the fact." Reduction warranted upon comparison to cases with similar facts.
Santana et al v. G.E.M. Medical Management, 0305261/2008, 2017 WL 4927181 (N.Y.Sup.), 2017 N.Y. Slip Op. 32289(U) (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Bx Cty. 2017)NY Supreme Bronx 20-Oct-2017TuittPregnancy Discrimination (Termination)PunitiveJury$500,000$500,000$0
Setty v. Synergy Fitness, 17-cv-06504, 2018 WL 8415414 (E.D.N.Y. 2018) (plaintiff Holmes)EDNY18-Dec-2018Gold, Steven (M.J.)Sexual Harassment; RetaliationEmotional DistressCourt / Default$35,000$35,000$0Garden variety. Holmes testified that he hated his job and there was “never a good moment working in that gym.” Also, Holmes stated that the harassment made him feel “humiliated,” hurt his relationship with his girlfriend and family, and “took away [his] dignity.” No evidence from medical expert or other corroboration; did not seek treatment from a mental health professional; no claim that psychological symptoms are ongoing.
Setty v. Synergy Fitness, 17-cv-06504, 2018 WL 8415414 (E.D.N.Y. 2018) (plaintiff Sanchez)EDNY18-Dec-2018Gold, Steven (M.J.)Sexual Harassment; RetaliationEmotional DistressCourt / Default$25,000$25,000$0Sanchez claims that Rodriguez's behavior made him “uncomfortable” and caused him embarrassment and “stress and anxiety every day.” No evidence from medical expert or other corroboration; did not seek treatment from a mental health professional; no claim that psychological symptoms are ongoing.
Setty v. Synergy Fitness, 17-cv-06504, 2018 WL 8415414 (E.D.N.Y. 2018) (plaintiff Setty)EDNY18-Dec-2018Gold, Steven (M.J.)Sexual Harassment; RetaliationEmotional DistressCourt / Default$25,000$25,000$0Setty stated in his declaration that Rodriguez made him feel “uncomfortable” and “humiliated,” and testified that the harassment made him feel depressed, caused him to “sleep a lot” and feel nauseated, gave him “a lot of headaches,” and contributed to his relationship “going south.” No evidence from medical expert or other corroboration; did not seek treatment from a mental health professional; no claim that psychological symptoms are ongoing.
Seubert v. Dr. Warren Deluty, DDS and Sheryl M. Deluty, No. 5859/10 (NY Sup. Ct. Nassau Cty. Oct. 1, 2013)NY Supreme Nassau1-Oct-2013BrandveenSexual Harassment, RetaliationPunitiveCourt$15,000$15,000$0Conduct was willful and with knowledge he violated the law.
Seubert v. Dr. Warren Deluty, DDS and Sheryl M. Deluty, No. 5859/10 (NY Sup. Ct. Nassau Cty. Oct. 1, 2013)NY Supreme Nassau1-Oct-2013BrandveenSexual Harassment, RetaliationEmotional DistressCourt$85,000$85,000$0Mental anguish, emotional distress, humiliation, embarrassment; P met burden of showing D engaged in conduct where he sexually harassed P by touching her inappropriately over her vehement objections with knowledge P was seeking therapy because P did not like being touched, and mocking her for not wanting to be touched for approximately 19 months of her employment.
Shea v. Icelandair, 925 F.Supp. 1014 (SDNY 1996)SDNY25-Apr-1996FrancisAge Discrimination (Demotion)Emotional DistressJury$250,000$175,000$75,000Mental anguish aggravated/exacerbated plaintiff's Parkinson's disease and caused plaintiff to suffer an angina attack and fostered a heart condition
Sier v. Jacobs Persinger & Parker, 276 AD2d 401 (NY App. Div. 1 Dept. 2000)NYAppDiv124-Oct-2000Rosenberger, Williams, Lerner, Saxe, BuckleyGender Discrimination; Hostile Work Environment; Sexual HarassmentEmotional DistressCourt / Bench Trial$250,000$200,000$50,000No discussion/analysis.
Sier v. Jacobs Persinger & Parker, 276 AD2d 401 (NY App. Div. 1 Dept. 2000)NYAppDiv124-Oct-2000Rosenberger, Williams, Lerner, Saxe, BuckleyGender Discrimination; Hostile Work Environment; Sexual HarassmentPunitiveCourt / Bench Trial$50,000$50,000$0Punitive damages properly imposed against individual defendant.
Simmons v. NYC Transit Auth., 02-1575, 2008 WL 2788755 (EDNY 2008)EDNY17-Jul-2008SiftonDisability discriminationEmotional DistressJury$150,000$150,000$0"Although jurors heard testimony about issues plaintiff was facing in her personal life, they were instructed not to consider these personal issues in determining an award for compensatory damages. Moreover, there was sufficient evidence for the jury to attribute plaintiff's pain and suffering to the actions of the Transit Authority. Plaintiff testified that as a result of being out of work for one and one-half years she lost income, could no longer contribute to her grandson's schooling or afford to pay for her apartment, and had to move. She also testified that during this time period she felt and looked depressed, frustrated, and helpless. Her testimony was supported by the testimony of her colleague, who stated that she appeared fatigued following her removal from the train operator position, and her sister, who stated that she appeared exhausted and depressed. In addition, Simmons's treating psychologist, Dr. Rountree, testified that the main stressor in Simmons' life during the time period in question was her employment situation."
Singleton v. City of New York, 496 F. Supp. 2d 390 (SDNY 2007)SDNY3-Aug-2007RakoffGender discrimination (hostile work environment)Emotional DistressJury$1,000,000$300,000$700,000Actions led to dissolution of P relationhip w/ motion of his child and separation from both; anxiety; pervasive fear. "Extraordinary hostility" warranted damages "somewhat above" NYS damage "norms."
Small v. New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, 2019 WL 1593923 (W.D.N.Y., 2019)WDNY15-Apr-2019SkretnySexual HarassmentBack PayJury$370,000$370,000$0Unchallenged
Small v. New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, 2019 WL 1593923 (W.D.N.Y., 2019)WDNY15-Apr-2019SkretnySexual HarassmentFront PayJury$1,800,000$1,800,000$0Unchallenged
Small v. New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, 2019 WL 1593923 (W.D.N.Y., 2019)WDNY15-Apr-2019SkretnySexual HarassmentPunitiveJury$50,000$50,000$0
Small v. New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, 2019 WL 1593923 (WDNY 2019)WDNY15-Apr-2019SkretnySexual HarassmentEmotional DistressJury$1,550,000$500,000$1,050,000Remittitur warranted. "From the unrebutted testimony at trial, the jury could reasonably have determined that Cuer's conduct was outrageous and shocking, such that it had a significant impact on Small's psychological and physical health. Small presented evidence that Cuer's campaign of harassment left her with debilitating psychological conditions—including post-traumatic stress disorder, major depressive disorder, sleep phobia, agoraphobia, and anxiety—as well as physical ailments, including loss of hair, grinding teeth, incessant coughing leading to a prolapsed bladder, twitching, loss of appetite, weight gain, lethargy, nausea, and diarrhea. The jury may therefore have reasonably found this to be an egregious case warranting substantial damages."
Sogg v. American Airlines, 193 AD2d 153, 603 NYS2d 21 (App. Div. 1 Dept. 1993)NYAppDiv114-Oct-1993EllerinDiscrimination (sex, age, disability), Failure to promote, terminationEmotional DistressJury$1,125,000$400,000$725,000No meaningful discussion or analysis.
Sooroojballie v. Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, 2020 WL 2988851 (2d Cir. June 4, 2020)CA24-Jun-2020Sack, Hall, BiancoHostile Work Environment (Race/National Origin)Emotional DistressJury$2,160,000$250,000$1,910,000Remittitur warranted. While ED was "significant" $2.16M was excessive. Stress, insomnia, anxiety, and depression, prescribed medication, stress strained relationship with family and led to excessive drinking; several counseling sessions with social worker and continued to attend sessions for 1-2 months after leaving employment.
Sooroojballie v. Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, 2020 WL 2988851 (2d Cir. June 4, 2020)CA24-Jun-2020Sack, Hall, BiancoHostile Work Environment (Race/National Origin)PunitiveJury$150,000$150,000$0
Sorrenti v. City of New York, 2007 WL 2772308 (Sup. Ct. NY Cty. 2007)NY Supreme NY16-Aug-2007ShulmanDiscrimination (Perceived Sexual Orientation); RetaliationEmotional DistressJury$491,706$491,706$0"This court finds that the jury, among other proven factors, was able to assess the long term effects of Hall's harmful stereotyping of Sorrenti and discriminatory denial of Sorrenti's career opportunity with YSS has had on his mental and emotional state and which was compounded by CITY/NYPD employees' ongoing retaliatory acts of “abuse, intimidation and humiliation ...” (Plaintiffs' Memo at p. 44), Sorrenti's episodes of suicidal ideation and current diagnosis of major reactive depression and Sorrenti's ongoing need for psychotropic medication."
Stevens v. Rite Aid Corp., 13-cv-783, 2015 WL 5602949 (NDNY 2015)NDNY23-Sep-2015McAvoyDisability DiscriminationEmotional DistressJury$900,000$125,000$775,000Remittitur granted. "Here, there was no medical testimony or evidence corroborating the emotional distress that Plaintiff suffered, nor was there evidence of any medical or psychological treatment obtained by Plaintiff to address his distress and its symptoms. While Plaintiff's and his wife's testimony about the emotional effects of a discharge at age 57 was compelling, it did not elevate it beyond the “garden variety” category."
Styka v. My Merchants Services LLC, No. 14-cv-6198, 2016 WL 11396819 (EDNY March 15, 2016) (R&R) (M.J. Scanlon), 2016 WL 3866550 (EDNY July 13, 2016) (adopting R&R) (J. Vitaliano)EDNY15-Mar-2016Vitaliano, Scanlon (M.J.)gender and race-based discrimination, sexual harassment, a hostile work environment, retaliationEmotional DistressCourt / Default$120,000$120,000$0As result of severe and intense sexual harassment, P experienced experienced fluctuations in her weight, insomnia, difficulty relating to her daughter and boyfriend, fatigue and trouble communicating with her colleagues in her new position; takes anti-anxiety medication to address some of these symptoms; P allegations of emotional distress are significant; continued to experience symptoms almost 2 years after incident; sometimes takes anti-anxiety medication; BUT allegations supported through P testimony only, while symptoms persisted, P's employment was brief, P experienced other life events causing distress.
Styka v. My Merchants Services LLC, No. 14-cv-6198, 2016 WL 11396819 (EDNY March 15, 2016) (R&R) (M.J. Scanlon), 2016 WL 3866550 (EDNY July 13, 2016) (adopting R&R) (J. Vitaliano)EDNY15-Mar-2016Vitaliano, Scanlon (M.J.)gender and race-based discrimination, sexual harassment, a hostile work environment, retaliationPunitiveCourt / Default$50,000$50,000$0
SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry v. State Div. of Human Rights, 144 A.D.2d 962, 534 N.Y.S.2d 270 (4th Dep't 1988)NYAppDiv415-Nov-1988Denman, Green, Pine, Lawton, DavisSexual HarassmentEmotional DistressNYSDHR$150,000$100,000$50,000Persistent daily sexual harassment; significant physical manifestations that resulted from her emotional distress and that she was so affected by the experience that she was unable to attend college the following semester; mental anguish, humiliation.
Syrnik v. Polones Construction Corp., 2013 WL 239416SDNY22-Jan-2013ForrestDiscrimination (Religion)PunitiveJury$500,000$500,000$0
Tanzini v. Marine Midland Bank, 978 F.Supp. 70 (NDNY Aug. 4, 1997)NDNY4-Aug-1997McAvoyAge/Disability DiscriminationEmotional DistressJury$200,000$30,000$170,000Remittitur warranted. Shock, memory loss, sleepless nights, headaches, nercviousnes, short-tempered, termination was traumatic, wife testified that P became more argumentative; review of comparable cases indicated that jury award was excessive.
Tanzini v. Marine Midland Bank, 978 F.Supp. 70 (NDNY Aug. 4, 1997)NDNY4-Aug-1997McAvoyAge/Disability DiscriminationFront PayJury$250,000$250,000$0"The jury heard credible testimony from plaintiff's supervisor that plaintiff has risen as far as he can in his present position. The jury also had evidence before it of the current salary of Ms. Majewski, plaintiff's replacement, and of the salary and benefits she might make in the future. Based upon such evidence, the Court cannot say that the $250,000 front pay awards materially deviates from reasonable compensation."
Tese-Milner v. ATCO Properties & Management, 2020 WL 6591380 (NY Sup. Ct. NY Cty. Nov. 10, 2020)NY Supreme NY10-Nov-2020FreedSexual Harassment Emotional DistressJury$700,000$700,000$0"Plaintiff's expert Dr. [Marilyn] Chen [licensed clinical psychologist] found that Velasquez was depressed a result of losing her job and that she had unsuccessfully attempted to hang herself with a belt and that she had a precipitous decline in functioning since being fired. Dr. Chen concluded, within a reasonable degree of clinical psychological certainty, that Velasquez's mistreatment had an impact on the decline in her functioning and that she experienced a domino effect in which her loss of employment led to significant financial strain, medical treatment, and problems with her fiancee. Defendants' expert Dr. [Stuart] Kleinman [forensic psychiatrist] admitted that Velasquez was clinically significantly depressed after she was terminated. Although he found that she had significant stressors other than those arising from her employment, he opined that her depression, anxiety and physical illness were manifestations of her anger following her termination." Admission ot psychiatric unit as inpatient.
Tese-Milner v. ATCO Properties & Management, 2020 WL 6591380 (NY Sup. Ct. NY Cty. Nov. 10, 2020)NY Supreme NY10-Nov-2020FreedSexual Harassment PunitiveJury$500,000$500,000$0
Thomas v. iStar Fin. Inc., 652 F.3d 141 (2d Cir. 2011)CA222-Jul-2011Hall, Livingston, Bianco (designation) (Per Curiam)Race Discrimination; RetaliationPunitiveJury$1,600,000$190,000$1,410,000Remittitur affirmed; $1.6m excessive; conduct was "more than merely negligent" but "insufficiently reprehensible"; ratio of excessive punitive award ($1.6m) to remitted compensatory award (unchallenged on appeal) was 5.7:1; court noted NYCHRL civil penalty (re: Gore guidepost #3) of up to $250k.
Thoreson v. Penthouse Int'l Ltd., 179 A.D.2d 29, 583 N.Y.S.2d 213 (1st Dep't 1992), aff'd, 80 N.Y.2d 490 (N.Y.1993)NYAppDiv12-Apr-1992Rubin Sexual Harassment (pressure to engage in sexual activity with defendant's business associates)Emotional DistressCourt / Bench Trial$60,000$60,000$0P testified to sufficient anguish to cause her to seek counselling from a psychotherapist.
Thorsen v. County of Nassau, 722 F. Supp. 2d 277 (EDNY June 30, 2010)EDNY30-Jun-2010Lindsay (M.J.)Retaliation (First Amendment)Emotional DistressJury$1,500,000$500,000$1,000,000Remittitur warranted; $1.5m excessive; but not "garden variety". "Both Thorsen and his treating psychologist Dr. Bayer testified at length about Thorsen's depression and anxiety arising from the reduction in his job duties. The evidence showed that Thorsen saw Dr. Bayer twice a week for approximately six months, and that he continued to receive therapy for around a year-and-a-half until his retirement from Nassau County. The evidence also showed that Thorsen was prescribed both Celexa and Wellbutrin to treat his symptoms. Dr. Bayer testified in detail about *293 Thorsen's emotional state, describing it as “anxious, agitated, very unhappy, tearful on occasion.” Dr. Bayer also testified that being removed from Operation Nightwatch “hurt [Thorsen] deeply,” “drove him further into depression,” “was devastating,” and was “emotionally painful.” Both Thorsen and Dr. Bayer described Thorsen's physical symptoms, which included visible anxiety, tearfulness, nausea, headaches, and difficulty sleeping. The evidence also showed that Thorsen became detached from his family and co-workers. Most significantly, Dr. Bayer testified that Thorsen suffered from what he termed a “major stress attack” in February 2001 that required hospitalization. Although the defendants are correct that the evidence shows that Thorsen was able to continue working throughout his depression, Thorsen testified that he was essentially going through the motions during this time. Further, Carway's involvement in the New York Times article, which Thorsen and Dr. Bayer both testified significantly increased his emotional distress, constitutes an extraordinary circumstance that moves this case beyond mere garden-variety. Accordingly, the court finds that Thorsen's emotional distress damages are properly categorized as significant rather than merely garden-variety."
Tiffany & Co. v. Smith, 224 A.D.2d 332, 638 NYS2d 454 (App. Div. 1 Dept. 1996) (unanimously confirming NYSDHR 1B–E–CS–84–97230 (8/11/1995))NYAppDiv127-Feb-1996Murphy, Ross, Tom, MazzarelliDiscrimination/Hostile Work EnvironmentEmotional DistressNYSDHR$300,000$300,000$0[See NYSDHR decision; no detail in NY App Div Op'n]
Trivedi v. Cooper, No. 95-civ-2075, 1996 WL 724743 (SDNY Dec. 17, 1996)SDNY17-Dec-1996CoteRace/National Origin Discrimination, Hostile Work EnvironmentEmotional DistressJury$700,000$50,000$650,000Remittitur warranted. No evidence of psychological counselling, physical manifestations of distress, or other actions consistent with emotional distress; only evidence presented to prove emotional distress was P's testimony that he felt he was “starved of professional growth” and that the discrimination made him feel “like how a woman would feel if her child were lost" and that he felt "insulted", "indignant", "unhappy", "emotionally upset".
Turley v. ISG Lackawanna, Inc., 774 F.3d 140 (2d Cir.2014)CA217-Dec-2014Sack, Katzmann, Rakoff (designation)Race Discrimination / Hostile Work Environment / Intentional Infliction of Emotional DistressEmotional DistressJury$1,320,000$1,320,000$0"At trial, the union representative testified that between 2006 and 2008, inclusive, Turley, 'was losing it.' Turley's psychologist noted that Turley suffered serious panic attacks and engaged in other abnormal behavior. The psychologist diagnosed Turley with a short-term adjustment disorder, depression, and a panic disorder. A psychiatrist further diagnosed him with post-traumatic stress disorder brought on by the workplace harassment. Several times, Turley had to be taken to the hospital as a result of the threats and harassment he experienced. He lost thirty pounds. Turley testified that, at the time of the trial, he did not sleep, struggled to relate to his children, did not socialize, and was frequently overcome by memories of his experience. ... [T]he case before us appears to be unique, combining years of grotesque psychological abuse leading to a marked decline in Turley's mental health and well-being. He was hospitalized and diagnosed with, inter alia, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and panic disorder as a result of the harassment that he suffered. These injuries were extensive and well documented."
Tyler v. Bethlehem Steel Corp., 958 F.2d 1176 (2d Cir. 1992)CA210-Mar-1992Pratt, Oakes, MinerAge DiscriminationFront PayJury$667,000$667,000$017 years of front pay (from USDOL "Work Life Estimates, Effects of Race and Education").
Tyler v. Bethlehem Steel Corp., 958 F.2d 1176 (2d Cir. 1992)CA210-Mar-1992Pratt, Oakes, MinerAge DiscriminationEmotional DistressJury$18,000$18,000$0P testified that losing his job was “like a divorce, your wife died or state of shock.”
Uddin v. New York City Admin. For Children's Services, 2001 WL 1512588 (SDNY 2001)SDNY28-Nov-2001LynchNational Origin Discrimination; Hostile Work Environment; RetaliationEmotional DistressJury$60,000$60,000$0P testified as to humiliation, financial hardship due to drop in compensation, sleeplessness/insomnia, reduced energy, depression, sadness; distinguishing Annis v. Westchester, analogizing to Mahoney v. Canady Dry Bottling.
United States v. City of New York, 2015 WL 7421994 (EDNY 2015)EDNY7-Aug-2015Peace (M.J.)Race DiscriminationEmotional DistressCourt / Special Master$30,000$30,000$0Rejecting $75,000 sought by P. "Claimant testified that he suffered mental anguish and could no longer enjoy activities he enjoyed prior to the City's discrimination. He described the severity and consequences of the emotional distress he suffered after learning he would not continue in the process of becoming a firefighter, including how it had a “profound damaging affect on” him, Hr'g Tr. 30:9–10, and left him in a “dark place”. Hr'g Tr. 38:5. His mother confirmed much of his testimony. The Claimant also provided testimony, corroborated in part by his mother, regarding how the City's discrimination negatively impacted his relationships with his girlfriend, his family, his son, and his father. Importantly, however, the Claimant provided no supporting testimony from a medical or mental health professional, nor did the Claimant offer any supporting evidence of medical or mental health treatment."
Vangas v. Montefiore Medical Center, 2015 WL 1514742 (SDNY 2015)SDNY3-Apr-2015RamosDiscrimination (Disability), Failure to AccommodateEmotional DistressJury$181,000$125,000$56,000Remittitur warranted. Garden variety case; "Mrs. Vangas offered relatively little evidence of emotional distress at trial. She testified that she was happy as an MMC employee, but that her termination made her feel worthless; she had trouble finding a job, became emotional, and gained a significant amount of weight. Mr. Vangas presented similar testimony. He stated that Plaintiff was “happy-go-lucky” before her cancer diagnosis, and became upset, confused, and hurt upon her termination. Mrs. Vangas and her husband did not support their testimony with any medical corroboration. Indeed, Plaintiff did not seek psychological treatment in the wake of her termination."
Vangas v. Montefiore Medical Center, 2015 WL 1514742 (SDNY 2015)SDNY3-Apr-2015RamosDiscrimination (Disability), Failure to AccommodateFront PayJury$190,000$190,000$0Remittitur denied. Award of 11 years' front pay was "neither unduly speculative nor unreasonable."
Vargas v. Premiere Staff Agency, 2019 WL 10632865 (SDNY 2019)SDNY18-Jul-2019Pitman (M.J.)Sexual HarassmentEmotional DistressCourt / Default$30,000$30,000$0Recommendation of $30k; $260k found "extremely excessive"
Vasquez v. NYC DOE, 11-3674, 2015 WL 3619432 (SDNY June 10, 2015)SDNY10-Jun-2015NathanGender Discrimination (Equal Protection Clause)PunitiveJury$20,000$20,000$0"The fact that the jury initially awarded punitive damages in the amount of Plaintiff's legal fees does not suggest that they based their award on conjecture. It could just as well suggest a lay person's reasonable determination that an award of legal fees may be the amount necessary to deter like conduct in the future."
Veerman v. Deep Blue Grp. L.L.C, 08 Civ. 5042, 2010 WL 4449067 (Nov. 3, 2010)SDNY3-Nov-2010BurnsSexual HarassmentPunitiveJury$10,000$10,000$01:1 ratio between compensatory and punitive damages was "reasonable and permissible"
Vernon v. Port Auth. of New York and New Jersey, 220 F.Supp.2d 223 (S.D.N.Y. 2002)SDNY26-Aug-2002LeisureNational Origin, Age DiscriminationFront PayCourt$118,540$118,540$0"Therefore, it seems prudent to the Court that Vernon should receive front pay in the difference between Vernon's current salary and the salary he would have earned had he been promoted. Because Vernon is only a few years from the age of retirement the award is not overly speculative. Moreover, the calculations set forth by Vernon's economist have been discounted to their present value and therefore are an accurate measure of what Vernon is owed. Vernon is also seeking pension benefits that he would have accumulated due to his higher salary. This is also necessary to make Vernon “whole.”"
Wade v. Orange County Sheriff's Office, 844 F.2d 951 (2d Cir. 1988)CA211-Apr-1988Kearse, Timbers, MahoneyRace DiscriminationEmotional DistressJury$50,000$50,000$0$50k did not shock the judicial conscience; "There was evidence to support the view that appellants' actions repeatedly subjected Wade to humiliation at work and that their racially motivated harassment included imposing on him an unwarranted disciplinary sanction on the basis of a false charge by McLean, and causing the sanction to be reported in a countywide newspaper, thereby causing Wade unjustified public embarrassment."
Wallace v. Suffolk Cnty. Police Dep't, No. 04–CV–2599 (RRM)(WDW), 2010 WL 3835882 (E.D.N.Y Sept. 24, 2010)EDNY24-Sep-2010MauskopfRetaliation (First Amendment)PunitiveJury$675,000$300,000$375,000Remittitur from Jury Verdict of $225,000 for each of 3 defendants
Wallace v. Suffolk Cnty. Police Dep't, No. 04–CV–2599, 2010 WL 3835882 (E.D.N.Y Sept. 24, 2010)EDNY24-Sep-2010MauskopfRetaliation (First Amendment)Emotional DistressJury$200,000$200,000$0Highly-offensive conduct; use of authority over vulnerable subordinate; "Plaintiff suffered, virtually daily, from sleepless nights. His hair grayed and fell out. He became tense, agitated, worried about the personal and professional consequences of Defendants' retaliation, and quick-tempered, “flying off the handle” even over minor issues. Plaintiff's relationships with his wife, children and colleagues deteriorated. As the evidence showed, Plaintiff's emotional trauma continued even as of the time of the trial. To help heal from these issues, Plaintiff received various forms of therapy. He attended monthly sessions of the New York City Police Department's self-support group beginning in January 2000. In addition, he and his daughter attended at least fifteen private therapy sessions."
Watson v. E.S. Sutton, Inc., 2005 WL 2170659 (SDNY 2005)SDNY6-Sep-2005WoodRetaliation for complaint of sexual harassmentPunitiveJury$2,500,000$717,000$1,783,000Remittitur warranted. Applying Gore factors. Citing financial hardship; termination had "malicious motivation"; amount awarded by jury was disproportional to compensatory award and not supported by comparable cases; adjusted amount ($717k) was approximately 50% of the compansatory damages awarded.
Watson v. E.S. Sutton, Inc., 2005 WL 2170659 (SDNY 2005)SDNY6-Sep-2005WoodRetaliation for complaint of sexual harassmentEmotional DistressJury$500,000$120,000$380,000Remittitur warranted. No permanent psychological damage or disability; decisions cited by P "approving multi-hundred-thousand dollar awards for emotional damages all involve post-traumatic stress disorder, and plaintiffs who were forced to be medicated and out of work for extended periods of time"; $500k not reasonable in light of comparable cases.
Watson v. E.S. Sutton, Inc., 2005 WL 2170659 (SDNY 2005)SDNY6-Sep-2005WoodRetaliation for complaint of sexual harassmentFront PayJury$550,000$550,000$0"The evidence at trial was extensive-consisting of (thoroughly cross-examined) expert testimony and a detailed expert report based on Watson's financial records and the use of various projection and actuarial tools accepted and relied upon in economics."
Welch v. United Parcel Serv., Inc., 871 F. Supp. 2d 164 (E.D.N.Y. 2012) EDNY30-Jun-2012SpattDisability DiscriminationEmotional DistressJury$200,000$200,000$0Remittitur denied. Severe emotional distress; felt like P can "never do enough", walked into work every day like P was "going into the executioner", went into a "dark place", distanced himself from people; expert witness (Dr. Marcia Knight) testified that P was "mostly sad", diagnosed P with a mood disorder consistent with fears of depression, etc.; physical manifestations included feeling of nervousness and mind racing, affected ability to be creative, ability to eat, sleep, and drive; shortness of breath, palpitations, dizziness, chest pain, nausea, fear, fear of the results of continued lifting of heavy packages and consequences of still having a job at UPS; some (but not all) physical ailments were the direct result of his physical conditions, and thus not based on violations of the NYSHRL; fear of death.
Wharton v. County of Nassau, 2015 WL 4611974 (EDNY 2015)EDNY30-Jul-2015SeybertRace/Religious Discrimination, RetaliationEmotional DistressJury$375,000$60,000$315,000Remittitur warranted; garden variety case. "Wharton and his wife testified that Defendants actions caused him to feel “ostracized,” “betrayed” and concerned about his safety. Wharton's wife also testified that he “wasn't as interactive with the family,” was less intimate, developed headaches, and had trouble sleeping. Reverend Hannah, who provided Wharton with “spiritual counseling,” also testified that Wharton became “depressed,” however, Hannah acknowledged that he had no clinical training, and admitted that Wharton never discussed physical manifestations of his unhappiness. Wharton never sought medical attention for emotional distress and did not introduce testimony from a medical professional. The evidence in this case therefore does not support the $375,000 in compensatory damages awarded by the jury, a verdict above and beyond damages awards in cases where plaintiffs suffered “significant” or “egregious” emotional distress."
White v. NYS Office of Children and Family Sevices, 5:11-CV-309, 2021 WL 282561 (NDNY 2021)NDNY28-Jan-2021ScullinRace DiscriminationEmotional DistressJury$1,500,000$50,000$1,450,000Remittitur warranted. [Jury verdict was $1.5m, but the court limited it to the statutory cap of $300k before engaging in the remittitur analysis.] "Garden variety" category was undisputed. Review of comparable cases indicated that $50k was the maximum amount without being excessive.
Worthen-Caldwell v. Special Touch Home Care Services, 911 NYS2d 122 (NY App. Div. 2 Dept. 2010); 2009 WL 7289829 (Verdict & Settlement Summary)NYAppDiv29-Nov-2010Prudenti, Skelos, Dickerson, LottSexual HarassmentEmotional DistressJury$1,860,000$250,000$1,610,000Reversed; remittitur warranted; jury award of past pain & suffering from $1.3m to $200k; future pain & suffering from $560k to $50k. Verdict Summary, 2009 WL 7289829: Testimony from psychiatric expert that plaintiff had developed post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of being sexually harassed at work for 12 years, and testimony from family members corroborating that plaintiff had become withdrawn over time, and no longer entertained the family or hosted Thanksgiving.
Zakre v. Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale, 541 F.Supp.2d 555 (SDNY 2008)SDNY8-Feb-2008SweetGender Discrimination; Hostile Work Environment; RetaliationEmotional DistressJury$100,000$100,000$0Depression, difficulty sleeping, tense about going to work, short with family, less patience, sought treatment from psychologist, huiliated, embarrassed, shaking.
Zakre v. Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale, 541 F.Supp.2d 555 (SDNY 2008), aff'd, 344 Fed.Appx. 628 (2d Cir. 2009)SDNY8-Feb-2008SweetGender Discrimination; Hostile Work Environment; RetaliationPunitiveJury$2,500,000$600,000$1,900,000Remittitur warranted. Court applied BMW v. Gore factors. Ratio of punitive to compensatory damages awarded by the jury was less than 2:1; however, the compensatory damages award ($1.5 milllion) was "substantial."
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