The firm represented Plaintiffs in Vaszlavik, et al. v. StorageTek, a class action lawsuit which settled for $5 million and a commitment by the employer to include human resource training and policy amendments including age and benefits administration.
In Drake v. TalMor Capital Management, et al., the firm’s client prevailed on claims of fraud and breach of contract. After trial, Mr. Drake received a judgment totaling roughly $3.5 million (including attorney fees, costs, and interest). This is one of the very largest Colorado judgments ever in a single plaintiff employment case. In 2023, the firm settled a sex discrimination case for more than $950,000 before a lawsuit was filed.
Benezra & Culver represented one Plaintiff in the Title IX gender discrimination case of Does v. University of Colorado, Boulder, in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado. Plaintiffs were subjected to severe sexual harassment by students recruited to play football by the University of Colorado. The case was settled for $3.0 million and a commitment to provide training and change recruitment practices.
In Caspar v. Lucent Technologies and Avaya, Inc., the firm represented Plaintiff Peggy Caspar, who received a total award in excess of $1.8 million (including attorneys’ fees and costs) on novel and difficult claims she was discriminated against on the basis of her gender by another woman.
In Colley Fisher v. The City and County of Denver, our firm’s client, Colley Fisher, prevailed in a January 2019 jury trial on her claim that she was fired in retaliation for opposing sex discrimination within the Denver Fire Department (“DFD”). Ms. Fisher worked for DFD for 25 years, was one of its first female firefighters, and, at the time she was fired, was the second highest ranked woman in the Department. After she prevailed at trial, a federal Judge entered a final judgment on her behalf that totaled $1.206 million.
In February of 2021, the firm’s client, Harold (“Hal”) Nachtrieb, prevailed on his claims of wrongful discharge in violation of public policy and breach of contract against Key Private Bank. The case was tried to an arbitrator who issued an interim award to Mr. Nachtrieb of $1.16 million. Including interest and costs, the full award was worth more than $1.2 million.
Members of the firm represented the Plaintiff in Langely v. Adams County, a sexual discrimination and retaliation case that was tried in the United States District Court in Colorado and resulted in a $1 million dollar settlement.
In Cillo v. City of Greenwood Village, the firm’s client prevailed at trial on his First Amendment Freedom of Association claim and received almost $900,000 for punitive damages, economic losses, attorney fees, and costs. In order to get to trial, the firm first had to prevail on a difficult appeal to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, which reversed the trial court’s improper grant of summary judgment.
The firm prevailed on a retaliation claim on behalf of its clients in Crowe & Ford v. South Adams County Water and Sanitation District. Plaintiffs Crowe and Ford stated their opposition to acts of sexual discrimination and harassment by a manager and were demoted or fired as a result. After a four-day trial, the Plaintiffs received a judgment worth nearly $500,000, including attorneys’ fees and costs.
The firm represented Plaintiff Candy Wilson in Wilson v. Alamosa School District, a disability discrimination claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The District terminated Ms. Wilson after she revealed symptoms of depression and anxiety to the Superintendent, who incorrectly stereotyped her as disabled. In what appears to be the first jury verdict in Colorado based a “regarded as disabled” claim, a jury found in Ms. Wilson’s favor in a judgment worth over $400,000, including attorneys’ fees and costs.
Benezra & Culver successfully represented Plaintiff Julie Jacobsen in Jacobsen v. Dillon Cos., a disability discrimination case under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Ms. Jacobsen was terminated after she was diagnosed with breast cancer and told her supervisors she needed scheduling flexibility or reassignment to a new position for several months in order to undergo chemotherapy. Ms. Jacobsen won her case before a jury, which awarded her $88,000 including punitive damages. The case settled before appeal for an amount inclusive of attorneys’ fees and costs.
In Doe v. Small Business Administration, Benezra & Culver prevailed before the Merit Systems Protection Board (“MSPB”) on a claim of disproportionate discipline of a longtime federal employee. After a three-day hearing, an Administrative Law Judge reinstated the employee to his position and awarded him lost wages.
In Acks v. City and County of Denver, the firm obtained class certification for a group of eight named Plaintiffs and 92 other individuals who were arrested by the Denver Police Department while peacefully marching at the Democratic National Convention (“DNC”) and denied counsel while police detained them. The case subsequently settled.
Benezra & Culver represented the Plaintiff in Carr v. Fort Morgan School District in which the Plaintiff prevailed in an unusual failure-to-hire case under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act.
The firm represented a transgender woman who had been denied a federal grant for a breast cancer screening because she was not born biologically female. The firm’s efforts resulted in a policy change at the Centers for Disease Control regarding such grants, which are now awarded regardless of whether the grant applicant is transgendered.
The firm was counsel for Plaintiffs in Nash, et al. v. City and County of Denver, where the Court held that a city Ordinance violated the Colorado Open Records Act and awarded nearly $60,000 in attorney fees and costs.
The firm was counsel for Plaintiff in Howard v. United States, in which the District of Colorado published its opinion at 864 F. Supp. 1019 (D. Colo. 1994). This was a novel and precedent-setting case in which a prisoner at the Federal Correctional Institute in Englewood, Colorado obtained a preliminary injunction of an unconstitutional Bureau of Prisons policy which infringed upon the Plaintiff’s freedom of religion.
In August of 2020, this firm tried the case of Joerg Bitzigeio v. United States of America Table Tennis (“USATT”) to an arbitrator. The case arose from the Defendant’s failure to pay Mr. Bitzigeio $90,000 in severance pay due under an employment agreement. After the hearing/trial, the arbitrator awarded Mr. Bitzigeio $90,000 in severance and $8, 222.57 in prejudgment interest. It also ordered USATT to reimburse Mr. Bitzigeio for the $74, 931.50 in attorney fees and the $7,67.40 in costs that he incurred pursuing his claim.
Benezra & Culver has also obtained numerous significant six-figure and even seven-figure settlements in cases alleging discrimination, retaliation and constitutional violations, including pre-litigation and pre-trial settlements. In 2021, the firm’s client settled a client’s case for $450,000 before trial. In the summer of 2019, the firm settled a novel civil rights claim alleging serious constitutional violations for more than $1 million prior to the filing of a lawsuit. At the end of 2015, the firm settled a quid pro quo sexual harassment case for $735,000, prior to filing a lawsuit. In early 2016, the firm settled a sex discrimination and due process case for $500,000, prior to filing a lawsuit and a whistleblower case for $450,000 after a complaint had been filed, but before any discovery had been conducted.