Category Archives:Uncategorized

SLG Wins Summary Judgment Ruling in Defense of Law Firm

On December 22, 2016, the federal court ruled in favor of the Defendant Law Firm and dismissed the claims filed by a female African-American administrative employee who alleged Title VII claims for race discrimination and retaliation. The court agreed with the Defendant that the case did not need to proceed to trial as the judge could determine the claims were untimely and without legal merit.

Deborah Collins of SLG Wins Summary Judgment Ruling in Defense of Virginia Beach School Board

On September 12, 2016, the federal court ruled in favor of the Virginia Beach School Board and dismissed the claims filed by a female African-American customer support technician who alleged Title VII claims for hostile work environment, disparate treatment, and retaliation. The court agreed with the School Board that the case did not need to proceed to a jury trial as the judge could determine the claims were without legal merit.

The Virginia Lawyers Weekly article featuring this victory can be read here.

Lewis v. School Board of the City of Va. Beach, No. 2:15cv 321.

SLG Wins Reasonable Accommodation Case Against the Navy

Sullivan Law Group represented a physician assistant in a two-week federal jury trial against the Navy in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff and found that the U.S. Department of the Navy had failed to reasonably accommodate the plaintiff by failing to provide her with a video relay phone or a sign language interpreter.

The plaintiff was a physician’s assistant formally employed by a government contractor. The court determined that the Navy was also her employer because of the degree of control exercised over the work she performed and the environment in which she worked under the joint employer doctrine.

The Court ruled that joint employer relationship does not create liability in the co-employer for actions taken by the owner employer. Each employer is only liable to the employee for its own actions, not for each other’s actions. However, a joint employer is liable if it participates in the co-employer’s discrimination or if it knew or should have known about the co-employer’s discrimination and failed to undertake prompt corrective measures within its control.

The Court also allowed the plaintiff to present evidence of events prior to the date of filing of the EEOC claim for the jury’s consideration of whether the parties had engaged in the interactive process in good faith.

The jury found that the approximately fourteen month delay between the plaintiff’s request for an accommodation and the Navy’s installation of a video phone to assist her in making and receiving phone calls did not constitute a reasonable accommodation.

After the filing of cross briefs, the Court will determine the amount of back and front pay to award the plaintiff and attorney fees.

Deborah Collins of SLG Obtains Dismissal of Breach of Contract and Fraud Claims

On September 22, 2015 Ms. Collins successfully defended her client in a jury trial in Norfolk Circuit Court, resulting in the dismissal of both the breach of contract and fraud claims. The Plaintiffs were seeking an award of $115,500.00 less any proven offset of the alleged loan, punitive damages in the amount of $350,000.00, and attorney’s fees. The matter never went to the jury as Ms. Collins successfully argued a Motion to Strike the Evidence after the Plaintiffs presented their case, and the judge dismissed the case for insufficient evidence.