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Iowa Federal Jury Awards $240 million to Plaintiffs in ADA Case

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission received the largest verdict in the agency’s history on Wednesday, May 1. In a press release (here), the EEOC notes that a federal jury in Davenport, Iowa found against Hill Country Farms for discrimination against a group of 32 employees based on their disabilities.

The jury awarded $5.5 million per plaintiff in compensatory damages and $2 million per plantiff in punitive damages, resulting in a $7.5 million verdict for each of the 32 plaintiffs. The jury’s verdict is here. This verdict is on top of the $1.4 million verdict the EEOC got for each plaintiff on wage claims.

This case demonstrates the willingness of the EEOC to engage in litigation particularly for cases with a large number of plaintiffs. Given the result in this case, it can be presumed that the EEOC will continue to bring class-type cases against employers.