Akron Firefighters Win $2 Million in Lawsuit

December 30, 2008

A federal jury has awarded 23 Akron firefighters close to $2 million in a discrimination lawsuit.

Jurors on Dec.22 found that a city exam used for captain positions skewed against white applicants, while another exam used for lieutenant applicants discriminated against black candidates.

The jury of five white women, one black woman and one white man also found that the results of the lieutenants’ test also discriminated against candidates older than 40.

The firefighters didn’t have to prove that the city intended to discriminate, just that the effect of the exams was discriminatory.

Assistant Law Director Patricia Ambrose Rubright says Akron officials haven’t decided on whether to file an appeal. But she says there will likely be several post-trial motions that could affect the amount of the jury’s award.

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