$3.25 MILLION VERDICT

Wrongful Termination

Mr. Mitchem was employed as a supervisor with Sara Lee Corporation. Mr. Mitchem was diagnosed with cancer and was forced to take periods of time off work due to surgery and radiation treatment. Shortly after Mr. Mitchem returned to work following a six-week absence due to radiation treatment, his employment was terminated.

Atkinson & Polak, PLLC brought suit against Sara Lee for disability discrimination. On February 12, 2009, a jury awarded Mr. Mitchem $131,775.00 in back pay, $278,122.00 in front pay, $640,103.00 for aggravation, inconvenience, humiliation embarrassment and loss of dignity and $2,200,000.00 in punitive damages. After the jury verdict, the Court also awarded Mr. Mitchem $59,468.35 in attorneys' fees and costs.

$2.1 MILLION VERDICT

Wrongful Termination

Mr. Rice was employed by defendants as its corporate controller. He was employed by the defendants for approximately twenty-four years. Mr. Rice had never received a poor evaluation or been reprimanded during his twenty-four years of employment. Defendants terminated Mr. Rice's employment and essentially replaced him with a substantially younger employee in his twenties who had no experience with the defendants.

Atkinson & Polak, PLLC brought suit against the defendants for age discrimination. On May 17, 2010, a jury found that the defendants wrongfully terminated Mr. Rice on the basis of his age. The jury awarded Mr. Rice $142,659.00 in back pay and $1,991,332.00 in front pay. After the jury verdict, the Court also awarded Mr. Rice $137,559.16 in attorneys' fees and costs.

After the verdict, the defendants appealed to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. On November 7, 2012, the West Virginia Supreme Court upheld the verdict. See the Court’s opinion here.

$2 MILLION VERDICT

Wrongful Termination

Mrs. Cartwright was employed by Thomas Memorial for approximately thirty-three years as a registered nurse. During her employment, Mrs. Cartwright complained of practices which were harmful to the health and safety of infant children and their mothers, including the lack of staff in the nursery and the high number of Cesarean sections performed on pregnant women at the hospital. Mrs. Cartwright's employment was terminated by the hospital because it alleged that it had received a complaint from a patient concerning Mrs. Cartwright's behavior.

However, an investigation by Atkinson & Polak, PLLC revealed there was no patient complaint. Atkinson & Polak, PLLC brought suit against the hospital for wrongful discharge. On February 15, 2005, a jury found that the hospital unlawfully terminated Mrs. Cartwright in violation of public policy. The jury awarded Mrs. Cartwright $122,000.00 in back pay, $347,000.00 in front pay, $300,000.00 for aggravation, inconvenience, humiliation, embarrassment, loss of dignity and emotional distress and $1,250,000.00 in punitive damages.

$2 MILLION VERDICT

Wrongful Termination

Ms. Smith was employed as a trainmaster with CSX. During the course of her employment, Ms. Smith was subjected to improper comments and threatening behavior by a supervisory level employee of CSX which created a hostile work environment. In order to avoid further contact with the individual, Ms. Smith took a demotion which allowed her to relocate to a different office. Atkinson & Polak, PLLC (as co-counsel) brought suit against CSX for sexual harassment/hostile work environment, negligent retention and constructive demotion. Subsequently, CSX terminated Ms. Smith's employment. Atkinson & Polak, PLLC amended the complaint to also allege a retaliatory termination of Ms. Smith by CSX. On June 25, 2010, a jury found that CSX subjected Ms. Smith to a hostile work environment and that it negligently retained the supervisor who harassed her. The jury also found that CSX terminated Ms. Smith as a result of her complaints of sexual harassment and/or her filing of a lawsuit against it.

The jury awarded Ms. Smith $277,600.00 in back pay, $1,000,000.00 in front pay and $280,000.00 for aggravation, inconvenience, indignity, embarrassment, humiliation and emotional distress. Finally, the jury awarded Ms. Smith $500,000.00 in punitive damages. After the jury verdict, the Court also awarded Ms. Smith $411,605.97 in attorneys' fees and costs.

$2 MILLION VERDICT

Wrongful Termination

Mr. Burns was employed by Independence as a fire boss. During his employment with Independence, Mr. Burns consistently made complaints regarding safety problems at the mine and made more complaints than the other fire bosses. On October 6, 2005, Mr. Burns was laid off due what Independence Coal alleged was "a reduction in force." Nevertheless, Mr. Burns' position was not eliminated. In fact, Mr. Burns' job was immediately filled by someone who had never been a fire boss before.

Atkinson & Polak, PLLC (as co-counsel) brought suit against Independence Coal alleging it terminated Mr. Burns in retaliation for making safety complaints. On June 21, 2007, a jury found that Independence unlawfully terminated Mr. Burns in violation of public policy. The jury awarded Mr. Burns $98,862.00 in back pay, $800,692.00 in front pay, $100,000.00 for aggravation inconvenience, humiliation, embarrassment, and loss of dignity and $1,000,000.00 in punitive damages. After the verdict, Independence appealed to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court refused the appeal. See the Supreme Court's refusal here.

$1.9 MILLION VERDICT

Worker's Compensation

On January 31, 2005, Mr. Stevenson was trying to fix the brakes on a broken man-trip when the brake system shifted, trapping his right wrist and arm. As a result of his injuries, he never returned to work. Mr. Stevenson (and others) had previously complained about the condition of the man-trips to mine managers. However, Independence Coal did not fix the problems.

Atkinson & Polak, PLLC tried the case to a Boone County jury as co-counsel for Mr. Stevenson. On March 17, 2009, a jury found Independence Coal guilty of negligence and awarded Mr. Stevenson $111,500.00 in medical expenses, $77,600.00 for loss of household services and $1,800,000.00 in lost earnings. After the verdict, Independence Coal appealed to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. On April 28, 2011, the West Virginia Supreme Court unanimously upheld the verdict. See the Supreme Court's opinion here.

$1.9 MILLION VERDICT

Wrongful Termination

Mr. Peters was employed as a miner by Rivers Edge. He broke his arm while working in the mine in October 2003. He kept working with a cast on his arm until March 2004, when his physician ordered him to stop working because his arm was not healing properly. When he tried to return to work in May 2004, his employer terminated his employment.

Atkinson & Polak, PLLC (as co-counsel) brought suit against Rivers Edge for workers' compensation discrimination, as well as other claims. On March 26, 2007, after a two-week jury trial, the jury found that the Mr. Peters' receipt of workers' compensation benefits was a substantial or motivating factor in his discharge and that Rivers Edge unlawfully failed to reinstate the Mr. Peters to his former position of employment after his doctor released him to return to work. The jury awarded Mr. Peters $171,697.00 in back pay, $513,410.00 in front pay, $200,000.00 for aggravation, inconvenience, humiliation, embarrassment and loss of dignity and $1,000,000.00 in punitive damages. After the verdict, Rivers Edge appealed to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. On June 4, 2009, the West Virginia Supreme Court unanimously upheld the verdict. See the Supreme Court's opinion here.

$1.8 MILLION VERDICT

Wrongful Termination

Mr. Frye, a Human Resources Manager for defendants, was sixty-two years old at the time of his termination and was replaced by a thirty-four year old. The decision to terminate Mr. Frye was made within a matter of days after Terex acquired Superior. After being informed that he would be terminated, Mr. Frye asked if there were any positions open in the accounting department. He was informed there were none, despite the fact that there were positions available for which he was qualified. Atkinson & Polak, PLLC (as co-counsel) brought suit against the defendants.

On November 19, 2008, the jury found that the defendants committed an unlawful discriminatory practice against Mr. Frye on the basis of his age. The jury awarded Mr. Frye $59,420.00 in back pay, $243,860.00 in front pay, $25,000.00 for aggravation, inconvenience, humiliation, embarrassment and loss of dignity and $1,500,000.00 in punitive damages. After the jury verdict, the Court also awarded Mr. Frye $103,971.92 in attorneys' fees and costs. The defendants appealed the case to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. The West Virginia Supreme Court refused the appeal. See the West Virginia Supreme Court's refusal here. The defendants then appealed the case to the United States Supreme Court. The United States Supreme Court also refused defendants' appeal. See the United States Supreme Court's refusal here.

$772,266.00 VERDICT

Worker's Compensation

Mr. Legg was employed by the defendants as an equipment operator. On April 21, 2003, Mr. Legg sustained a shoulder injury while changing the battery in a coal hauler he was operating. When Mr. Legg attempted to return to work after recovering from his injuries, his employment was terminated. The defendants claimed that Mr. Legg had fraudulently collected workers' compensation benefits and had missed work on more than two consecutive days without valid excuse.

Atkinson & Polak, PLLC (as co-counsel) brought suit against the defendants. On October 20, 2005, the jury found that the defendants were guilty of workers' compensation discrimination. The jury awarded Mr. Legg $95,796.00 in back pay, $627,198.00 in front pay, $30,833.00 for aggravation, inconvenience, humiliation, embarrassment loss of dignity and emotional distress.

$302,910.00 VERDICT

Wrongful Termination

Mrs. Thompson was employed by United Bank and its predecessors for approximately twenty-three years as a mortgage loan processor. During her employment, Mrs. Thompson experienced significant health problems which required her to undergo several surgical procedures. As a result, Mrs. Thompson was forced to take off work for approximately four months in order to recuperate. After she returned to work her employment was terminated because, United Bank alleged, her error ratio was too high. Nevertheless, another employee (who was not disabled) had an error ratio that was higher than Mrs. Thompson's but was permitted to keep her job.

Atkinson & Polak, PLLC brought suit against United Bank for disability discrimination, among other things. On August 17, 2007 a jury found that United Bank was guilty of disability discrimination. The jury awarded Mrs. Thompson $66,176.00 in back pay, $111,734.00 in front pay, $75,000.00 for aggravation, inconvenience, humiliation, embarrassment and loss of dignity and $50,000.00 in punitive damages. After the jury verdict, the Court also awarded Mrs. Thompson $36,678.35 in attorneys' fees and costs. United Bank appealed the judgment to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court unanimously refused the appeal. See the Supreme Court's refusal here.

$189,161.00 VERDICT

Wrongful Termination

Mrs. Wolfe worked for the defendants for approximately twenty four years before her termination. Mr. Smith worked for the defendants as a salesperson for approximately thirty years before his termination. Mrs. Wolfe was replaced by two individuals in their early twenties. Mr. Smith was replaced by someone in his mid-twenties with no sales experience.

Atkinson & Polak, PLLC brought suit against the defendants for age discrimination, among other things. On May 26, 2006, a jury found that Mrs. Wolfe and Mr. Smith were wrongfully discriminated against on the basis of their age. The jury awarded Mrs. Wolfe $29,483.00 in back pay, $8,000.00 for aggravation, inconvenience, humiliation, embarrassment and loss of dignity and $10,000.00 in punitive damages. The jury awarded Mr. Smith $87,135.00 in back pay, $36,543.00 in front pay, $8,000.00 for aggravation, inconvenience, humiliation embarrassment and loss of dignity and $10,000.00 in punitive damages. After the jury verdict, the Court also awarded the Mrs. Wolfe and Mr. Smith $135,623.10 in attorneys' fees and costs. The defendants appealed the judgment to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court unanimously refused the appeal. See the Supreme Court's refusal here.

$172,200.00 VERDICT

Wrongful Termination

Mr. Patton was employed by Raven Crest as a heavy equipment operator. On August 24, 2006 he was injured at work while cleaning a high wall. As a result of being injured at work, Mr. Patton filed a workers' compensation claim. Mr. Patton's employment was terminated by Raven Crest because he missed work during the time he was receiving workers' compensation benefits.

Atkinson & Polak, PLLC (as co-counsel) brought suit against Raven Crest for workers' compensation discrimination, among other things. On October 9, 2008, a jury found that Raven Crest wrongfully terminated Mr. Patton while he was off work due to a work related injury and receiving or eligible to receive total temporary disability benefits. The jury also found that Raven Crest wrongfully failed to reinstate Mr. Patton to his former position of employment. The jury awarded Mr. Patton $147,200.00 in back pay and $25,000.00 for aggravation, inconvenience, humiliation, embarrassment and loss of dignity.