Segal McCambridge Shareholders Joseph Kish and Benjamin Nellans successfully obtained a defense verdict in the Northern District of Illinois in a case claiming violations of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.
Plaintiff raised claims of age discrimination related to his termination from a sales position. At trial, Plaintiff argued that his manager was forced to hire him by his manager, so he then developed pre-textual reasons to push for his termination. Plaintiff further argued that several human resources and upper-level management involvement in the termination decision was irrelevant because they merely rubber stamped Plaintiff’s manager’s decision to terminate Plaintiff. Moreover, Plaintiff attempted to argue that age-related statements allegedly made by the manager rendered this a willful violation of the act.
Nine witnesses testified over the course of the four-day, jury trial. Through the testimony of these witnesses, we were able to prove that Plaintiff’s termination was the result of his misconduct and that Defendant’s stated reasons were not pretextual. We were further able to prove that Defendant’s human resources department sufficiently investigated the grounds for termination and properly terminated Plaintiff in the complete absence of any knowledge that Plaintiff was claiming discrimination. The jury returned a unanimous verdict that Plaintiff failed to meet his burden of demonstrating that Defendant terminated him in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.