Federal Jury Exonerates California Highway Patrol

(Washington, D.C.) – After nearly a decade of litigation, a federal jury has ruled that the California Highway Patrol (CHP) did not discriminate against minority officers in making job assignments and awarding promotions.

In the class-action lawsuit, filed in 1994, plaintiffs alleged that CHP had intentionally discriminated against a class of minority officers in connection with promotions and assignments. In addition, the class representative, Jeff Paige, asserted three individual claims: intentional discrimination in promotion and assignment and retaliation.

On November 3, after a month-long trial and more than a week of deliberations, the jury found no intentional discrimination against the class in assignments or promotions and no intentional discrimination against Paige individually in promotion or assignment. While the jury found that CHP did retaliate against Paige for pursuing his claims of discrimination, they awarded him no damages.

The court still must decide whether CHP’s promotion and assignment practices have an adverse impact on the class of non-white officers; a ruling is expected next year.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld represented the California Highway Patrol at trial.  

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