A federal appeals court has upheld a $1.3 million jury verdict in an age-bias suit that alleged the real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield unlawfully fired a 63-year-old software engineer, according to Law.com.
A jury awarded the former employee Yury Rinsky $425,000 in compensatory damages and $850,000 in punitive damages in a Boston federal district court. Rinsky claimed in a 2015 complaint that he was fired because of his age and disability.
The dispute focused on Rinsky’s move to Massachusetts from the company’s home office in New York, where he had worked for 27 years. Cushman & Wakefield disputed that he had been approved for a transfer. Rinsky declined to resign after the company said he would need to move back to New York, and he was then terminated.
Rinsky claimed his managers used his move to Massachusetts as a pretext to fire him based on his age, they replaced him with a 48-year-old engineer and they treated a younger worker’s move to Florida differently. After a five-day trial, the jury sided with Rinsky on the age discrimination claim. The company then appealed the decision.
“C&W has failed to meet its burden of showing either that there was no legally sufficient basis for the verdict or that the district court abused its discretion,” the appeals court concluded. The court said Rinsky “established a prima facie case of age discrimination.”