Ohio Jury Awards $490,000 to Former McDonald's Employee Claiming Company Discriminated Based on HIV-Positive Status
July 11, 2005
A Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Common Pleas Court jury on Thursday ruled that fast-food company McDonald's pressured a former employee to resign in 1997 because of his HIV-positive status and awarded the man $490,000, the Akron Beacon Journal reports (Akron Beacon Journal, 7/8). Russell Rich, who had worked at McDonald's for 20 years and was employed as a manager when he resigned, first sued the corporation in October 1998, saying supervisors had altered his duties after he complained about a "hostile work environment." Rich, who has AIDS, in 2001 won a $5 million verdict against McDonald's, but a three-judge panel of the 8th Ohio District Court of Appeals in October 2003 overturned the award, ruling that the company did not receive a fair trial. McDonald's offered to settle out of court for $300,000, but Paige Martin, Rich's attorney, said the offer was inadequate. Judge John Patton, a retired judge from Ohio's 8th District Court of Appeals, began proceedings on a new trial in Cuyahoga County last month (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 6/21).
Reaction, Next Steps
Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/hiv. The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, by The Advisory Board Company. © 2004 by The Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.