Case Number: No. 6:04-cv-06098-JWF, 6:07-cv-6512 JWF
Practice Area: Employment Law & Unpaid Wages
Case Status: Settled
Settlement Amount: $21.38 million
Court: United States District Court for the Western District of New York
Berger Montague served as co-lead counsel and obtained a $21.37 million settlement for a class of over 3,000 current and former African-American employees of Eastman Kodak Company for their race discrimination claims. The plaintiffs alleged that Kodak discriminated against African-American employees in their employment with respect to pay, promotions, performance appraisals, initial job assignments, and layoffs, the creation of a racially hostile work environment, and retaliation when African-American employees complained about racial discrimination.
After five years of hotly contested litigation, the plaintiffs, led by Berger Montague Executive Shareholder Shanon J. Carson, agreed to a $21,376,500.00 cash settlement plus the implementation of extensive programmatic relief over a four-year term. The non-monetary relief included an agreement that Kodak maintain and enforce non-discrimination and anti-retaliation policies, retain personnel to review and study its employment policies and practices, and develop further enhancements to its existing equal opportunity and diversity training.
In granting approval to the terms of the settlement, the Court described plaintiffs’ co-lead counsels’ conduct as follows:
In my fifteen years on the bench, no case has been litigated with more skill, tenacity and legal professionalism than this case. The clients, corporate and individual, should be proud of the manner in which their legal interests were brought before and presented to the Court by their lawyers and law firms.
… the Court would be remiss if it did not commend class counsel and all those who worked for firms representing the thousands of current and former employees of Kodak for the outstanding job they did in representing the interests of their clients. For the last several years, lead counsel responsibilities were shared by Shanon Carson and Bruce Gerstein. Their legal work in an extraordinarily complex case was exemplary, their tireless commitment to seeking justice for their clients was unparalleled and their conduct as officers of the court was beyond reproach.
The settled cases included Davis v. Eastman Kodak Company, No. 6:04-cv-6098-JWF (W.D.N.Y.) and Alston v. Eastman Kodak Company, No. 6:07-cv-6512-JWF (W.D.N.Y.), both litigated in the United States District Court for the Western District of New York.
If you have been the victim of employment discrimination, including discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, gender, national origin, or sexual orientation, please contact Berger Montague.
About Berger Montague
Berger Montague is a national law firm focusing on complex civil litigation in federal and state courts throughout the United States. For over half a century, Berger Montague has played lead roles in consequential, precedent-setting cases and has recovered over $50 billion for its clients and the classes they have represented. Berger Montague is headquartered in Philadelphia and has offices in Chicago, Minneapolis, San Diego, San Francisco, Toronto, and Washington, D.C.