A district court jury has awarded a local man $5.8 million in a discrimination lawsuit filed against El Paso Electric.
The jury returned its verdict Friday in the 171st District Court in favor of Mark Duncan, 40, more than two years after Duncan and his attorney, John A. Wenke, filed a discrimination lawsuit against the electric company.
Company officials said Monday they plan to appeal the jury's decision.
Duncan was employed as a benefits supervisor at the company until he was fired Dec. 14, 2007. He claimed in the suit that he was fired two days after his life was threatened during an altercation with a company human-resources manager.
Wenke claimed the company feared the human-resources manager, who is Hispanic, would file a discrimination lawsuit if fired, so company officials fired both Duncan and the manager.
Wenke called the case "unusual" because it involved an Anglo plaintiff going to trial.
"It's apparent by the verdict that the jury was very upset about what it saw," Wenke said.
Duncan declined comment, but Wenke said Duncan was "very relieved" at the jury's decision.
"He felt it was necessary to clear his name," Wenke said.
Source: The El Paso Times.