October 3, 2013 1:13 pm ET
The sad part is all of this could have been avoided
I am going to publish this news announcement as it is written. I choose to do this to avoid any claims by those who think that I have an ax to grind with the county. In fact, had someone (and there are many) in county government had did their job, this could have all been avoided.
I will follow up this blog with my assessment of who is responsible and how this could have been handled saving the taxpayers millions.
BALTIMORE COUNTY PAYS SETTLEMENTS IN THREE MORE FEDERAL ADA SUITS
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BALTIMORE COUNTY FOUND BY EEOC TO VIOLATE ADA RIGHTS OF 16 MORE COUNTY WORKERS AND APPLICANTS
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May 29. 2013
Three more Baltimore County Emergency First Responders have achieved settlements under the Americans with Disabilities Act totaling in excess of $1,000,000.00 in back-pay, benefits, past and future retirement benefits, damages, costs and attorney’s fees.! Most importantly, two firefighters will be getting back to work, as they have been fighting to do for years. With the return to duty, they will be able to serve Baltimore County’s people again, while earning the income, benefits, and eventually the fair and meaningful retirements to which they are entitled for their years of brave service – at the time they choose to retire.
Also, sixteen more Baltimore County employees and applicants recently prevailed before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on their claims for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act This group of claimants includes a police officer, firefighters, correctional officers, laborers, Community College public safety officers, school bus drivers, a school custodian, and a librarian. These 16 cases now proceed to the U.S. Department of Justice, which continues to work to stop the pattern and practice of ADA discrimination in Baltimore County.
In 2007, the U.S. Department of Justice launched an investigation into the County’s illegal employment practices. That investigation concluded in August 2012 with the Department of Justice filing suit and the County agreeing to submit to a three-year Consent Decree, and with the County paying ten claimants more than $500,000.00 in damages and attorney’s fees. The County remains under the Consent Decree.
In 2010, highly decorated Baltimore County police detective, William Blake, prevailed on his ADA claims before a federal jury. He received a $225,000.00 verdict, and in November 2012, the County was ordered to repay over $500,000.00 in fees, expenses and costs incurred by Detective Blake in his six-year fight to stop the discriminatory treatment.
1) The County paid $545,676.50 in damages and attorney’s fees. In the future, the County will pay additional retirement benefits to retired Police Lt, Mike Lauenstein. Firefighters Becker and Kuklinski have recovered their right to their future DROP retirement benefits totaling between $500,456.12 and $757,381.54, along with enhanced retirement benefits, based upon their reinstatement and their future time in service.
Ms. Cahill, who, along with Benjamin Rosenberg, represented the three settling plaintiffs, states: “Today three more dedicated Baltimore County First Responders were compensated after years of fighting for their rights under the ADA after illegal discharge. We are honored to have stood with them in their fight for justice.”
About Kathleen Cahill Law:
Kathleen Cahlll of the Law Offices of Kathleen Cahill LLC in Baltimore. Maryland, has been practicing employment and civil rights law for 30 years. For the last eight years Ms. Cahill has been named to Super Lawyers, and in 2013, to Super Lawyers’ Top 100 Lawyers and Top 50 Women Lawyers. In 2012, Ms. Cahill was named by U.S.News and Best Lawyers as their Lawyer of the Year in the category of representing individuals in employment law matters.
About Benjamin Rosenberg:
Benjamin Rosenberg, the founder and Chairman of Rosenberg Martin Greenberg, is recognized as one of the preeminent Litigators in Maryland. He handles major cases in state and federal trial courts and has argued many significant appeals. Ben is a fellow of The American College of Trial Lawyers and the Maryland Bar Foundation. He was named one of Maryland’s top litigators in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business every year since 2006, a Benchmark: Litigation Leader each year since 2008. and is one of Maryland’s top commercial Litigators in Best Lawyers in America. He was also recognized as one of the top 100 lawyers in Maryland in the 2012 edition of Maryland Super Lawyers, and was recognized as one of the top 10 lawyers in Maryland in the 2007, 2010 and 2011editions of Maryland Super Lawyers.