Sedric Ward v. Shelby County, Tennessee
Case No. 2:20-cv-02407-JPM-cgc.
United States District Court for Western District of Tennessee, Western Division.
Unanimous jury verdict and finding of willful.
Sedric Ward is an Army reservist who served as a Deputy Jailer for Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. Mr. Ward took military leave without pay each month to attend drill or annual training. Mr. Ward also took military leave for a combat deployment to Afghanistan. After his return in 2014, his employer conducted an audit to asses and find misuse of various types of leave. The audit revealed millions of dollars of fraud. However, Mr. Ward was not one of the individuals identified in the audit. The Shelby County Sheriff ordered a criminal investigation focused only members of the military. Mr. Ward and others were subsequently arrested, charged with felonies, booked into the same jail they worked at, suspended him without pay, and terminated from employment. Which effectively destroyed their law enforcement careers. Following a three-day trial, the Jury unanimously found in favor of Mr. Ward, and made a specific finding of willfulness by the defendants. Accordingly, Mr. Ward is entitled to a doubling of his lost wages and benefits. The Jury further awarded $561,000 in lost wages and benefits and front pay of $50,000 for three years.
Mr. Jarrard and Robert Michell previously brought claims for two of the other jailers, which Shelby County agreed to resolve on the eve of trial.
BRETT GAILEY V. EVERETT PD
Civil Action No. 2:19-cv-00859
The Everett Police Department (EPD) hired Mr. Gailey as a patrol officer. Immediately after hiring him Mr. Gailey got deployed to Iraq with the Army National Guard. Upon his return from Iraq the EPD did not properly re-employ him by denying him service credit for his year long deployment in Iraq. When the EPD refused to give Mr. Gailey the lawfully required service credit he contacted the Employer Support for Guard and Reserve (ESGR) who, in turn, convinced EPD to follow the law. And since the day he contacted the ESGR to enforce his USERRA rights Mr. Gailey was a marked man, trouble maker, or “that guy” who tried to get his law enforcement agency employer to follow the law.
Mr. Gailey, after enduring years of being passed over for promotion to Sergeant in favor of at least seven other peers who scored lower than he did on proficiency examinations, filed a USERRA complaint with the Department of Labor/VETS. On November 22, 2017, the DOL/VETS found that the EPD violated USERRA. A copy of the DOL/VETS finding is available here.
In December 2017 the DOL/VETS further noted that “Mr. Gailey seems to be the only individual that is getting counseled on issues when others are doing them as well and that Mr. Gailey is the only one who is currently serving in the military.” In January 2018 an anonymous witness contacted the DOL/VETS with more information about how Mr. Gailey “is being treated differently due to his military service; and this is just not a performance issue as the City is trying to portray it.”
Nevertheless, the EPD would not agree to resolve Mr. Gailey’s DOL/VETS complaint. Mr. Gailey then asked the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) USERRA division, which filed a grand total of two USERRA suits in 2018, to help him but the DOJ, without explanation, declined.
Mr. Gailey then filed a private civil action. A copy of Mr. Gailey’s complaint is available here.
DEL ROSARIO V. BATES TECHNICAL COLLEGE
Civil Action No. 3:18-cv-05551-BHS
This case involves the constructive discharge of a U.S. Air Force reservist. The State of Washington removed the case to federal court. After the State removed the case Ms. Del Rosario filed a motion asking that the federal court remand the case back to state court. The Court granted Ms. Del Rosario’s motion and remanded the case to state court. The case was settled for $335,000.00 in March 2019.
A copy of Ms. Del Rosario’s complaint is here.
TRAVIS HILLMAN V. HAYDEN HOMES, LLC.
Civil Action No. 2:18-cv-00080
This case involves a Washington Army National Guard Sergeant who was denied a $35,000.00 employer home purchase benefit immediately after he informed his employer that he was going on long-term military leave. The parties agreed to resolve the Hillman case.
A copy of Mr. Hillman’s lawsuit is available here.
SAVAGE v. FEDERAL EXPRESS
Civil Case No. 856 F.3d 440 (6th Cir. 2017)
Briefed and argued a successful appeal in one of the first appellate decisions on the formula that employers must apply to determine the pension or retirement benefits of reservists who take military leave, and later obtained a settlement of the case.
MARCUS KIMM V. AEROTEK, INC. ET. AL.
Civil Action No. 17-cv-221
This case involves a Washington Air National Guard non-commissioned officer who was denied initial employment after informing his prospective employer, and that employer’s recruiting agency, of an upcoming military deployment. On July 24, 2018, Aerotek filed papers with the court seeking to dismiss Mr. Kimm’s claims. Mr. Kimm response brief and statement of facts in support of his response are available here and here. On October 24, 2018, the Court denied Aerotek’s attempt to have Mr. Kimm’s case dismissed. Mr. Kimm’s case resolved.
A copy of the complaint is available here.
A copy of the Court’s order is available here.
HUNTSMAN V. SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO.
Civil Action No. 17 Civ. 3872 (N.D. Cal.)
Served as Class Counsel and obtained USERRA settlement estimated to be worth up to $19 million for up to 2,000 Southwest Airlines pilots who were denied pension and sick leave benefits between 2001 and 2018.
This case involves a class action lawsuit against Southwest Airlines alleging that Southwest violated certain pension and employee benefit provisions of the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act (USERRA). Specifically, the complaint alleges that Southwest did not count short term military leave for pension calculation purposes and that Southwest did not allow pilots on short term military leave to accrue sick leave whereas Southwest allowed pilots on comparable forms of non-military short term leave to accrue paid sick leave.
A copy of the complaint is available here.
After the complaint was filed the parties engaged in extensive discovery and, following that, settlement negotiations. On September 14, 2018, the parties filed papers with the Court asking it to approve the settlement. The settlement provides for a $5.8 million cash settlement, recovery of between 100 – 77% of sick leave (which is assessed to be valued in excess of $13 million), and changes to Southwest’s policies regarding sick leave accrual during short term military leave.
The following documents were filed with the Court as part of the settlement process.
A link to the class action website is available here.
A link to the order approving the class action settlement is available here.
MITCH HALL V. L-3 COMMUNICATIONS, CORP.
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Washington
Case No. 2:15-CV-00231-SAB
Mr. Crotty and Mr. Jarrard represent Mitch Hall and Nathan Kay, members of the Washington Air National Guard, in a USERRA re-employment/failure to hire lawsuit against L-3 Communications, a defense contractor. A copy of Mr. Hall and Mr. Kay’s Amended Complaint is available here. This case settled for $2,000,000 in November of 2018.
DEREK RICHTER v. COMMERCE CITY COLORADO, et. al. District of Colorado
Civil Action No. 1:15-CV-1826-MEH
This case involves Commerce City Police Officer Derek Richter, a Captain in the Colorado Army National Guard, who was denied opportunities to compete for promotional opportunities upon his return to work following long term military duty. A copy of Mr. Richter’s complaint is available here. Mr. Richter also moved for an order striking the City’s “USERRA expert.” A copy of the court order granting that motion is available here. Mr. Richter subsequently moved for motion for summary judgment and declaratory judgment seeking an order finding that the City’s “military hold” policy – - – a policy whose sole effect is to deny certain military members select employment benefits – - – in violation of USERRA. Additionally, Mr. Richter moved the court via a Motion for Sanctions finding that the City wrongfully destroyed material evidence in the case.
PODLISKA V. HOUSE BENGHAZI COMMITTEE AND REP. TREY GODY
Civil Action No. 15 Civ. 2037 (D.D.C.)
Served as lead counsel and obtained a settlement for a former investigator of the House Benghazi Committee who alleged that he was terminated in violation of USERRA due to his military service, which the Washington Post reported as one of the largest discrimination settlements with a House of Representative office under the Congressional Accountability Act.
CHRISTINA MARTIN, et al v. THE STATE OF WASHINGTON, et al.
Spokane County Superior Court, Spokane, Washington
Case No. 14-2-00016-7
This case involves a class action USERRA lawsuit against the State of Washington for the Washington State Patrol’s repeated failure to give its qualified veteran employees initial entry and promotion preference as required under state law, RCW 41.04.010. A copy of the complaint is available here. On January 13, 2014, the plaintiffs amended their class action to complaint to include claims against the Washington State Patrol for improperly charging service-member employees excess leave in violation of RCW 38.40.060. A copy of the amended complaint is available here. The State of Washington attempted to dismiss plaintiff’s complaint in early 2014. The Court denied the State of Washington’s motion.
On September 18, 2015, the trial court granted the parties’ motion to make plaintiffs’ counsel provisional class counsel and approve mailing of pre-class certification notices. A copy of the motion, court’s order, and pre-class certification notices to current WSP employees and WSP applicant non-hires is available here. The Court’s order allowed for honorably discharged veterans who applied for work as WSP Troopers, but were not hired with the WSP, to make a claim for compensation. The Court’s order also allowed current and former WSP Troopers, Sergeants, and Lieutenants, whose hiring and/or promotion was delayed because of the WSP’s failure to apply veteran preference to make a claim for compensation. In order to make a claim for compensation click here. All claims for compensation must be completed by January 8, 2016.
On May 5, 2017, the Washington State Patrol agreed to settle the case for $13,000,000 and an additional (approximate) $2,000,000 to compensate for pension-related damages.
MICHAEL ALLMAN V. AMERICAN AIRLINES PENSION FUND, ET. AL
U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts
Case No. 1:14-cv-10138
Mr. Crotty and Mr. Jarrard have teamed up with the Cohen Milstein lawfirm to litigate a USERRA and ERISA class action against American Airline’s pension fund and is fiduciaries on behalf of military personnel who were denied various benefits in violation of USERRA. Briefly stated, USERRA requires that (in certain instances) companies with pension plans base pension contributions on the average hours servicemembers worked the year prior to that servicemember’s military leave of absence. From 1997 to the present American utilized the improper pension calculations.
ALLMAN V. AMERICAN AIRLINES, Inc. PILOT RETIREMENT PROGRAM VARIABLE INCOME PLAN
Civil Action No. 14 Civ. 10138 (D. Mass.)
Served as Class Counsel and obtained about $6.5 million settlement for over 1,200 American Airlines pilots in a USERRA / ERISA action challenging the failure to make the proper
pension contributions during periods of military leave from 1997 to 2011, with all Class Members received at least 100% of their potential lost benefits.
The case involves plaintiff Michael Allman claiming that American Airline’s pension plan violates USERRA’s and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) pension provisions. The firm represents Mr. Allman along with attorneys Thomas Jarrard and the Cohen Milstein law firm. A copy of the complaint is available here. On April 8, 2016, the Court granted Plaintiff’s Motion for Class Certification and, on May 26, 2016, entered an order allowing notice of the lawsuit to be made to members of the class.
PHILLIP RAMIREZ v. STATE OF NEW MEXICO, ET. AL.
New Mexico Court of Appeals
Case No. 31820
Mr. Crotty and Mr. Jarrard worked with attorney Robert Mitchell, the Reserve Officers Association (ROA), and American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to file a “friend of the court” brief in a USERRA case involving the State of New Mexico. The case involves whether USERRA’s protections apply to the State. A copy of the brief is available here: Brief of Amici Curiae the ROAA and ACLU 1.14.13 and here. Information about the lawsuit is available here. On April 14, 2016, the New Mexico Supreme Court found that USERRA applied to the State of New Mexico.
SHAWN T. WIGERT v. 1ST CLASS SECURITY, INC., ET. AL.
U.S. District Court, District of Montana
Case No. 6:13-cv-00038-DLC-RKS
Shawn Wigert worked for 1st Class Security, Inc. as a Site Supervisor from 2009 until 2012. As Site Supervisor Mr. Wigert supervised 25 people and was charged with coordinating guard shifts at an installation owned by the Montana Army National Guard. During his tenure as Site Supervisor he never had any performance issues. In 2012 Mr. Wigert deployed to Afghanistan with the Montana Army National Guard. Mr. Wigert safely returned from Afghanistan in early 2013 and asked for his Site Supervisor job back. 1st Class Security’s owners refused to reemploy Mr. Wigert. Mr. Wigert contacted the Employer Support for Guard and Reserve (ESGR) in order to get the issue resolved. The ESGR was unable to convince 1st Class Security to properly reemploy Mr. Wigert. Matt and Tom have teamed up to litigate the case. A copy of Mr. Wigert’s complaint is available here. The case successful resolved prior to trial.
MARK BELTON v. PAGE COUNTY, VA & HALIFAX COUNTY, VA
U.S. District Court, Western District of Virginia
Case No. 4:13 CV 10 & 5:13 CV 24
Mark Belton, a Rear Admiral (Upper Half) in the U.S. Navy Reserve, worked as the County Administrator for Page County, Virginia. In 2012 Page County chose not to renew Mr. Belton’s employment contract. The reason it gave was that the County did not like Mr. Belton’s military related absences. Needing to find work, Mr. Belton applied for a County Administrator job at Halifax County, Virginia. Mr. Belton made it to the final round of interviews but was told, in writing, by Halifax County that he did not get the job because the County feared that his military reserve obligations would take him away from work too often. Matt, Tom, and attorney Robert Mitchell, along with the General Counsel P.C. law office represented Mr. Belton in both lawsuits. Mr. Belton’s Complaints can be viewed here Belton v. Halifax Co., Virginia and here Belton v. Page Co., Virginia
Shortly after filing suit Halifax County agreed to resolve the case. Page County answered Mr. Belton’s Complaint. Mr. Belton moved to strike the majority of Page County’s defenses to Mr. Belton’s complaint as those defenses did not comport with the USERRA law. Following Mr. Belton’s motion to strike Page County asked the court to mediate the case. At mediation Page County agreed to settle Mr. Belton’s case for $110,000.
CRAIG D. HANSON v. KITSAP COUNTY, ET. AL.
U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington
Case No. 13-cv-05388
Matt and Tom represent 1SG Craig Hanson, an employee with the Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office. The Army National Guard mobilized Mr. Hanson in 2009 for deployment to Iraq. After Mr. Hanson departed the County hired two workers into Mr. Hanson’s Fire Marshal job. Upon Mr. Hanson’s return to work in 2012, the County refused to give Mr. Hanson the proper job back. Instead the County left Mr. Hanson in the unenviable position of begging for his job back from the people that the County hired to replace him during his military absence. Mr. Hanson contacted the Employer Support for Guard and Reserve (ESGR) but the County refused to meaningfully work with the ESGR in aiding Mr. Hanson’s return to work. Instead the County retaliated against Mr. Hanson by refusing to let him conduct inspections, reducing his hours, and telling co-workers and customers to refrain from writing favorable reference letters on Mr. Hanson’s behalf. A copy of Mr. Hanson’s complaint is available here. A copy of Mr. Hanson’s motion to waive the federal filing fee is available here. A copy of Mr. Hanson’s motion for partial summary judgment as to the issue of liability is available here. The Court granted liability on Mr. Hanson’s behalf as to Mr. Hanson’s USERRA retirement benefit claim. A copy of the Court’s decision, the first known published decision relating to a court finding an employer at fault for violating USERRA’s 12 month look-back pension calculation provision, is available here. From August 18, 2014 to August 25, 2014, a jury trial occurred in the case. The trial resulted in a hung jury. The retrial on the case is set for March 3, 2015. Mr. Hanson won the re-trial in which the jury found that Kitsap County willfully violated Mr. Hanson’s USERRA rights.
LYLE WIXOM v. IMCO GENERAL CONSTRUCTION, INC.
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Washington
Case No. 12-cv-413-LRS
Matt, Tom, and attorney Robert Mitchell represented Mr. Wixom in a USERRA action that Mr. Wixom filed against his former employer, IMCO Construction Company.
In June 2008 Mr. Wixom, a laborer for IMCO and Private First Class in the Washington Army National Guard, was mobilized for two months of military duty. The military honorably discharged Mr. Wixom, Mr. Wixom asked to go back to work at IMCO, but IMCO said no work was available. Mr. Wixom filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor VETS. The DOL found that Mr. Wixom’s claim had merit. Mr. Wixom subsequently filed suit against IMCO. A copy of Mr. Wixom’s Complaint can be viewed here.
Mr. Wixom filed papers asking the Court to rule, as a matter of law, that IMCO broke the USERRA law by not rehiring him. The Court denied Mr. Wixom’s request and based its denial, in part, on IMCO’s argument that it had no record of Mr. Wixom’s application for reemployment. But during the discovery process IMCO admitted that it destroyed all job applications from 2008 – - – an admission that contradicted the position it took before the court. Mr. Wixom moved for sanctions against IMCO. Before the Court ruled on the sanctions motion IMCO agreed to settle the case for $140,000.
JAMES TUTEN v. UNITED AIR LINES, INC.
U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
Case No. 12-cv-01561
Matt and Tom have teamed up with the Cohen Milstein lawfirm and attorney Robert Mitchell to litigate a class action against United Air Lines on behalf of military personnel who were denied various benefits in violation of USERRA. Briefly stated, USERRA requires that (in certain instances) companies with pension plans base pension contributions on the average hours servicemembers worked the year prior to that servicemember’s military leave of absence. From 2000 to 2010 United Air Lines based its pension contributions for military leave pilots on a fixed hourly amount that, in many instances, was less than the average hours those military pilots worked the year prior to going on military leave. An in depth explanation of the issue is available here.
United agreed to resolve the lawsuit for $6.15 million. On August 14, 2013, Mr. Tuten, the class representative, asked the federal court for the District of Colorado to approve the class action settlement agreement. Copies of the settlement agreement, motion for class certification, and information about the proposed notices for class members are available here and here. On May 20, 2014, the federal court for the District of Colorado, issued its order approving the $6.15 million settlement. A press release regarding the largest reported settlement in the history of USERRA is available here.
CHRISTOPHER JONES v. MARRIOTT HOTEL SERVICES, INC. & MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL, INC.
U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
Case No. 12-cv-00587-WHA
Matt and Tom represented Mr. Jones, a Captain in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, in a USERRA action that Mr. Jones filed against his former employer Marriott. Mr. Jones worked at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis as a Banquet Chef, left for military duty in mid-2008, and returned from military duty in late-2009. During Mr. Jones’ deployment Marriott eliminated Mr. Jones’ position and, upon Mr. Jones’ return, refused to hire him back. Marriott argued that the 2008 economic down-turn justified its actions. Mr. Jones filed suit against Marriott. A copy of Mr. Jones’ Complaint can be viewed here.
After filing suit Mr. Jones and Marriott cross-moved for summary judgment adjudication of the case. Mr. Jones’ Motion for Summary Judgment sets out the facts and legal argument in support of Mr. Jones’ case as does Mr. Jones’ Summary Judgment Reply Brief. The Court heard oral argument on both parties’ motions and a copy of that hearing’s transcript is available here. The Court’s Order on the Motions for Summary Judgment is available here. The Reserve Officers Association also wrote a piece on the Marriott case which is available here. Mr. Jones subsequently moved to amend his complaint to include a claim against Marriott International, Inc. The parties resolved the lawsuit.
MICHAEL J. SILVA v. STUDLEY PROFESSIONAL STAFFING, LLC
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia
Case No. 12-CV-0022-TSE-TRJ
Mr. Silva, who was also a Brigadier General in the US Army Reserve, worked as a Vice President at Studley Professional Staffing (SPS). Mr. Silva was mobilized for a tour of duty in Iraq. Mr. Silva was not given his job back after returning from war. SPS claimed that it did not have to give Mr. Silva his job back because one of SPS’s customers, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, said that it did not want Mr. Silva back and would cancel its contract with SPS if Mr. Silva returned to work. SPS also alleged that financial stress prevented it from re-employing Mr. Silva. Subsequent investigation cast doubt on the validity of the Department of Homeland Security’s “threat” and the factual bases of the SPS’s claimed financial hardship. The parties agreed to resolve the matter weeks before a jury trial. Additional information on Mr. Silva’s allegations can be located by clicking on Michael Silva’s Brief in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment.
ANTHONY TOTARO v. LLNS, LLC
U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
Case No. 11-cv-05446-PJH
From 2000 to 2010 Anthony Totaro, a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, took a leave absence from his employer, Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC (a/k/a Lawrence Livermore National Lab) to serve in the military. Mr. Totaro alleged that upon his return to work in 2010 he was not given his proper job back and that the Lab discriminated against him on account of his military service. Mr. Totaro’s Complaint can be viewed here. The Lab denied liability. Thereafter discovery ensued and Mr. Totaro moved to amend his complaint to include individual USERRA claims against certain Lab managers and attorneys. A copy of Mr. Totaro’s motion to amend his complaint is available here. Shortly thereafter, the parties agreed to resolve the matter in lieu of litigating the case.
MICHAEL HERT v. AURORA HEALTH CARE , INC.
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
Case No. CV-00469-WCG
Mr. Hert, a member of the Army Reserve, worked at Aurora Health Care, Inc. Mr. Hert deployed to, among other places, the Horn of Africa for an extended period of time. Shortly after returning home Aurora fired Mr. Hert. The parties agreed to resolve the matter in lieu of proceeding with litigation. (Matt Crotty and Thomas Jarrard litigated this case in association with attorney George Aucoin.)
MICHAEL “SHANE” THORSON v. KLICKITAT COUNTY
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Washington
Case No. CV10-5137-RMP
Mr. Thorson, who was also a Sergeant in the Army National Guard, worked as a deputy sheriff in Klickitat County, Washington. Mr. Thorson alleged that shortly after he started work his supervisor told him to quit the Army National Guard. Mr. Thorson complied but, months later, was involuntarily recalled back into the Army National Guard to serve a tour of duty in Iraq. The Klickitat County Sheriff’s office fired Mr. Thorson seventeen days after Mr. Thorson informed it that he had been recalled. The County claimed that it was justified in terminating Mr. Thorson’s employment because of Mr. Thorson’s failure to return two telephone calls and attend a pre-disciplinary meeting. Subsequent investigation cast serious doubt on the genuineness of the employer’s reasons for termination. The parties agreed to resolve the matter in lieu of going to trial. Additional information on Mr. Thorson’s allegations can be located by clicking on Michael Thorson’s Brief in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment.
RICHARD BAENEN v. CITY OF BURBANK
U.S. District Court, Central District of California
Case No. CV10-9290-PSG (MANx)
Mr. Baenen, who was also a Senior Chief Petty Officer in the Coast Guard Reserve, served as the City of Burbank’s Disaster Preparedness Coordinator. Mr. Baenen was then mobilized to serve a lengthy tour with the U.S. Coast Guard. The City eliminated Mr. Baenen’s job while Mr. Baenen was on military duty. The City claimed, among other things, that financial reasons justified its decision. Subsequent investigation cast doubt on the validity of the City’s reasons for eliminating Mr. Baenen’s job and further revealed that the City terminated Mr. Baenen in part because of his military service. The parties agreed to resolve the matter instead of going to trial. (Matt Crotty and Thomas Jarrard litigated this case in association with attorney George Aucoin.) Additional information on Mr. Baenen’s allegations can be located by clicking on Richard Baenen’s Brief in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment.
GREGORY WORCESTER v. SPOKANE COUNTY
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Washington
Case No. CV-10-241-JLQ
Mr. Worcester, a member of the Army Reserve, applied for employment as a deputy sheriff at Spokane County Corrections, scored at the top of the candidate list, but was denied initial employment when the County learned of his upcoming period of military training. In his absence, the County hired several other lower ranking candidates. Mr. Worcester was eventually hired in a lower status of seniority. Thereafter, Mr. Worcester took periodic leaves of absence for military service. However, over his objections, the County charged Mr. Worcester’s time away against his personal vacation time. The County also continued the standard year-long employee probation period for each of his military absences; approximately two years were added to Mr. Worcester’s probation and he lost further seniority benefits, causing Mr. Worcester’s seniority ranking to fall below employees who were hired many months after him. Consequently, during a reduction in force, Mr. Worcester was terminated from employment before both, candidates hired after the denial of his initial employment and after employees hired after him. Mr. Worcester filed suit against for the violation of his rights, among others, discrimination in employment, protection from discharge, and denial of rights and benefits protected by USERRA. 38 U.S.C. §§ 4311, 4312, 4313, 4316, 4318. The case was settled shortly after the first court hearing.
CYNTHIA BAGNALL AND FORREST GREGORY BAGNALL v. CITY OF SUNRISE, FLORIDA
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida
Case No. 10-61299-CIV-MARTINEZ
Mr. Bagnall, who was also a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve, worked for the City of Sunrise. Mr. Bagnall was subsequently mobilized for a lengthy tour of military duty. Mr. Bagnall alleged that the City placed Mr. Bagnall in a position of lower seniority, status, and pay upon his return from military duty. The City denied Mr. Bagnall’s allegations. The City attempted to get Mr. Bagnall’s case fully dismissed prior to trial but was unsuccessful. The case then settled after the first day of a jury trial. (Matt Crotty and Thomas Jarrard litigated this case in association with attorney George Aucoin.)
DANIEL BLESKEY v. WILLDAN ENGINEERING
U.S. District Court, Central District of California
Case No. 10-5454
Mr. Bleskey, who was also a Captain in the U.S. Navy Reserve, worked for Willdan Engineering. Mr. Bleskey was then deployed to Iraq. Willdan subsequently eliminated Mr. Bleskey’s job claiming performance and financial issues. The parties agreed to resolve the matter in lieu of going to trial. (Matt Crotty and Thomas Jarrard litigated this case in association with attorney George Aucoin.)
DAVID MERRITT, M.D. v. BLACK RIVER MEMORIAL HOSPITAL
U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin
Case No. 10-cv-840
Dr. Merritt, who was also a Major in the Army National Guard, worked as an emergency room physician at Black River Memorial Hospital. Dr. Merritt deployed to Afghanistan. Dr. Merritt alleged that upon returning from Afghanistan his supervisor asked if Dr. Merritt would be deployed again. Dr. Merritt replied “probably.” Shortly thereafter Black River terminated Dr. Merritt’s employment claiming performance and contract issues. Subsequent investigation cast doubt as to the validity of Black River’s reasoning. The parties resolved the matter approximately one month before trial. (Matt Crotty and Thomas Jarrard litigated this case in association with attorney George Aucoin.)
PETER BIRKHOLZ v. BILLINGS CLINIC, et. al.
U.S. District Court, District of Montana,
Case No. 1:09-cv-00051-RFC
Mr. Birkholz, who was also a Staff Sergeant in the Army National Guard, worked at Billings Clinic. Billings Clinic terminated Mr. Birkholz’s employment citing, among other things, negative performance reviews. Some of those performance reviews mentioned Mr. Birkholz’s military service. Billings Clinic attempted to get Mr. Birkholz’s case dismissed prior to trial but was unable to do so. The case then settled shortly before trial. (Matt Crotty and Thomas Jarrard litigated this case in association with attorney George Aucoin.)