City OKs $8M Payout in Firefighters' Lawsuits

The City Council Wednesday approved an $8 million payout  to two firefighters who won separate discrimination lawsuits against the Los  Angeles Fire Department in 2007.

Council members approved a $4.8 million payment to Capt. Frank Lima and  a $3.3 million payment to former Firefighter Lewis "Steve" Bressler."

A jury awarded Lima $3.7 million two years ago after he accused  department officials of retaliating against him when he refused to give women  recruits preferential treatment.

In court papers, Lima said his superiors transferred him to a different  fire station and refused to promote him after a woman recruit was injured  during a training exercise under his supervision and complained that he  humiliated her.

Lima said the punishment caused him stress and led to heart problems. He  decided to file a lawsuit after his superiors told him he should make  training exercises easier for women recruits than for male recruits because the  department was under pressure to add more women to its ranks.

Bressler claimed he was discriminated against because of his age, and  because he was a Jehovah's Witness.

He said he was forced to retire after department officials repeatedly  ignored his pleas to help colleague Brenda Lee, a black lesbian who also  alleged discrimination.

A jury awarded Bressler $1.3 million for lost wages, and another  $405,000 for emotional duress. 

Copyright Archive Sources
Contact Us