Race Discrimination – Published Settlement

August 7, 1998
Race Discrimination
Breach of Contract
  $51,000 (plus mediation costs).
  Case I.D. Confidential.
  American Arbitration Association / March 13, 1998.
  Deborah Rothman.
  Claimant – Frank M. Poturica (Torrance).
Respondents – Daniel M. Crowley (Booth, Mitchel & Strange, Los Angeles).
  The claimant in this case, a dark-skinned 40-year-ol male, began working for a nationally-known consumer retailer in 1992, working his way up to store manager in 1993. During his three-year tenure as a store manager, the store’s sales figures showed continual improvement, and he won several awards. The claimant’s supervisor, who was of a different race and religion, transferred the claimant to a smaller-grossing store, replacing him with a manager of his own race, nationality and religion. As a result of the transfer, the claimant earned less commission income. A second transfer also did not work out, and the claimant was offered a sales position, whereupon he left the company. The claimant brought this action against the respondents based on race discrimination and breach of contract theories of recovery.
  The claimant contended that the defendant discriminated against him on the basis of his race, and that it breached his employment contract.

The respondents contended that the store the claimant initially managed had much more profit potential that it had realized under his management; that all of its stores were doing at least as well; and that an additional example of his lack of management skills was his high employee turnover at his store.

  The claimant sought damages for lost earnings and emotional distress, as well as punitive damages.
  The matter was mediated before Deborah Rothman on March 13, 1998, less than two months after it was filed with American Arbitration Association.
  Respondents initially offered $25,000 in settlement. The parties reached settlement a few weeks after the mediation was held, in the amount of $51,000, and the respondents agreed to pay all costs of mediation.
Copyright 1998 Daily Journal Corp. Reprinted with Permission.