Member News & Information

Former IBM Employee Wins Age Discrimination Suit

CMM attorneys recently won a jury verdict valued at over $3.6 million against IBM. Mark Carta and Margaret Triolo of CMM obtained this verdict on behalf of a former IBM executive on an age discrimination claim. Following a two week trial in the United States District Court in Hartford, the jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of the plaintiff. The jury found that the plaintiff – an IBM employee of 41 years – had been discriminated against in violation of both the United States Age Discrimination in Employment Act and New York State Human Rights Law based on his age. In addition, based on the jury’s further finding that the violation of the plaintiff’s civil rights was willful, the jury awarded punitive damages and $500,000 for his emotional distress. The plaintiff stated that he could not have been more pleased with the results of CMM’s representation and that he believed the jury had completely vindicated his rights.

Prior to trial, CMM prevailed on a series of critical pretrial motions and evidentiary issues. CMM successfully defeated a voluminous Motion for Summary Judgment filed on behalf of IBM by the international law firm Paul Hastings. Thereafter, CMM obtained an evidentiary ruling barring the proposed testimony of IBM’s expert witness concerning the length of time it should have taken the plaintiff to find a new job after he was fired by IBM on the basis that this testimony was not sufficiently reliable. Finally, in a precedent making ruling, which has received much attention in the legal community, the trial judge found that evidence relating to IBM’s “open door” internal investigation of the plaintiff was inadmissible on the grounds that its possible probative value was substantially outweighed by a real danger of unfair prejudice.

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