On December 3, 2013 a federal court jury in Jackson rendered a $182,000 verdict in Taylor v. Jackson State University. Here is the Clarion-Ledger’s article on the verdict.

The article states:

Taylor’s equity complaint stemmed from the university’s decision to prevent her from attending the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association convention in March 2011. 

Taylor — who coached at JSU for 10 seasons and led the program to the 2008 SWAC Tournament title — was fired in June 2011 and filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Jackson against the university the following January alleging wrongful termination and discrimination.

It’s my understanding that the plaintiff’s complaints involved a bit more than a coaches convention and included unfair treatment in general of womens athletic programs at JSU.

Here is the Jury Verdict. The jury actually ruled for JSU on three of the five claims. JSU won on the claims of gender discrimination, retaliation under Title VII and retaliation under Title IX.

The jury ruled for the plaintiff on the claims for breach of her employment agreement and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. The jury assessed plaintiff’s damages as $182,000 on the breach of contract claim and $0 on the breach of implied duty of good faith claim.

The trial lasted five weeks. Five.

Louis Watson Jr. and Nick Norris of Jackson represented the plaintiff. Latoya Merritt and Todd Butler with Phelps Dunbar in Jackson represented JSU. Judge Henry Wingate presided in the case.

JSU has at least four other pending lawsuits involving charges of sexual harassment or retaliation.

My Take:

I don’t know how big of a win this was for the plaintiff, but a five week trial is a huge win for Phelps Dunbar.

  • Ha! Exactly!

  • 75/25

    I’d venture to guess that the jury’s decision on the Title VII, Title IX and retaliation claims is also a big win for the defense. I doubt the employment contract allowed for attorney fees.

  • Shannon Ragland

    There was a two-week gap in trial so it didn’t last quite as long as it seemed.