A jury awarded a longtime city employee more than $1.5 million late Thursday, finding that she was subjected to disability
discrimination, attorneys said.
Deborah McMurray was awarded $1,501,567 in damages and an
additional $33,000 for the city’s failure to meet reasonable
accommodations for her disability, said Stephen Love, one of her
“This is a situation where Mrs. McMurray was a valuable employee
who had consistently received outstanding reviews and thinks she was
discriminated against on the basis of her disability,” Love said.
“Although she tried to resolve her differences with the city, it left
her no option but to litigate the case.”
McMurray, 57, a revenue clerk in the Park, Recreation and
Community Services Depart- ment, sued the city in March 2001,
alleging age, gender and disability discrimination. McMurray, who has
been on medical leave since filing the lawsuit, was seeking more than
$1 million in damages.
A jury of 11 women and one man, which deliberated for three days,
didn’t find that McMurray was subjected to age and gender
“We’re just happy to see the system work, and she would just like
to put this behind her,” he added.
Irma Rodriguez Moisa, the attorney representing the city of
Burbank, and her co-counsel, Sergio Bent, were unavailable for
Brad Gage, lead counsel for the plaintiff, said during the case
that McMurray was subjected to a hostile work environment when she
complained about the discrimination. He also said she was passed over
for promotions in favor of younger, less qualified employees. Gage
was out of town Friday and unavailable for comment.
Four other plaintiffs sued the city along with McMurray in May
2001, but settled out of court in March. McMurray declined to settle
after she was offered $1,000.
Moisa had contended that McMurray was upset because she had to
compete for new jobs instead of being promoted without having to
apply and blamed the city instead of “recognizing her own
Earlier this year, Gage represented three female Glendale Police
officers who sued the city for sexual harassment and won a combined
$3.5-million jury award.