Police Officer Wins $225,000 In Reprisal Case

August 26, 2011

Following a six day jury trial in federal court in Baltimore, Maryland, a veteran police officer won a $225,000 damages award after the jury concluded that his rights were violated under the Americans With Disabilities Act by Baltimore County.

According to the federal lawsuit filed by Detective William Blake, a 24 year veteran of the police force, Chief Terrence Sheridan retaliated against him when he ordered Detective Blake to take neurological and fitness-for-duty tests in 2006, 10-years after he suffered what his lawsuit characterizes as a "potential seizure" on the job. The lawsuit claims that, even though Blake was pronounced fit for duty after the "seizure" incident, the fact that he would be required to undergo neurological testing 10-years after the incident was clear retaliation for Blake's testimony before the County Board Of Appeals in support of another police officer who was challenging his forced retirement for health reasons. The federal jury agreed.

Commenting upon this case, Cohen & Padda partner Paul Padda (a former federal prosecutor) stated that "men and women that wear the uniform and face threats to their lives on a daily basis in an effort to protect the rest of us are not immune to discrimination and retaliation in the workplace." Padda added, "when workplace discrimination and retaliation occur against a police officer or other law enforcement officer, it is doubly sad and disappointing given the incredible stress these individuals have to endure as a result of their jobs." "I am gratified for Detective Blake that he achieved justice and stood strong against the retaliation that attempted to derail an honorable 24-year career" stated Padda. He concluded, "at this law firm, we fight hard to protect the rights of all employees -- including those that serve society by wearing the uniform and selflessly protect the rest of us."