Charles Parkin
Long Beach
City Attorney

333 West Ocean Boulevard - 11th Floor
Long Beach, California 90802-4664

cityattorney@longbeach.gov
10/21/2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # 001
Subject:
Massey v. City of Long Beach
Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. BC518178
Contact:
Michele Levinson, Deputy City Attorney
(562) 570-2231






A Los Angeles Superior Court Judge today reversed a $700,000.00 jury verdict, finding there was no evidence to support Plaintiff’s claim of employment discrimination.

Damien Massey was a probationary dispatcher in the City’s emergency communications center. Massey, who is African American, claimed in his civil lawsuit that he did not complete his probationary employment with the City because the City discriminated against him on the basis of his race.

During the two week trial, the evidence showed that Massey was unable to complete all of the tasks required of a police dispatcher in handling emergency calls, despite being given additional time to complete his probationary period, and despite being given a variety of trainers. Massey maintained that his dismissal from the dispatch center was actually just a pretext for discrimination.

The judge initially allowed the matter to go to the jury, which found for Massey and awarded him approximately $700,000. However, during post-trial motions heard today, the Judge found that Plaintiff had actually failed to present any evidence from which a jury could have concluded that the City’s actions were not in good faith, or that the City’s actions were motivated by Massey’s race. As such, the judge reversed the jury’s verdict, and ordered Judgment in favor of the City.

 The case was tried by Deputy City Attorneys Michele Levinson and LaTasha Corry.