Firm Secures Trial Court Judgment, EEOC Ordered to Pay Client’s Legal Fees

By Weisbart Springer Hayes

After a four-day jury trial in federal district court in Pensacola, Florida, firm partners Julie Springer and Geoff Weisbart obtained a jury verdict finding that their client, West Customer Management Group n/k/a Alorica Business Solutions LLC, did not engage in national origin discrimination as had been alleged by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Following the trial, West filed a request for its client’s fees and expenses based on the fact that the EEOC continued to pursue the litigation after it had become clear that the claim had no legal foundation.

After a lengthy, two-year battle over whether West should receive fees and how much, the District Court ultimately ordered the EEOC to pay a total of $168,514.15 in attorneys’ fees and expenses.

“We are pleased that the Magistrate Judge and the District Judge understood why it was important to award our client its legal fees and expenses on the facts of this case,” said Ms. Springer. “The decision sends a clear message that the EEOC has a responsibility to properly examine the evidence, both before they file and as they proceed with a case. We are proud of the result for our client.”

The EEOC has subsequently appealed the fee and expense award to the 11th Circuit. Partner Sara Janes, an appellate specialist, is co-counsel on the appeal.

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