- Associated Press - Monday, December 12, 2016

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri woman who sued American Family Insurance for retaliation and age and sex discrimination has been awarded $20 million in punitive damages.

Deborah Miller, 60, of Blue Springs, also was awarded $450,000 in actual damages on Friday by a Jackson County jury, The Kansas City Star reported (https://bit.ly/2gydiVH ). She was removed from her manager position in a corporate restructuring but continues to be a company agent.

Ken Muth, a spokesman for American Family, based in Madison, Wisconsin, said Monday that the company strongly disagrees with the verdict “and believe it is contrary to the facts and testimony that were presented at trial.”

“We do not illegally discriminate in any way, and there was no discrimination in this situation. We are considering our options for appeal,” Muth said.

Miller’s attorneys said they believed the jury agreed that Miller was targeted as part of a corporate effort to replace older workers with younger hires.

Dennis Egan said he thought the jury was affected by testimony that John Bosman, a former Missouri state director of the company who supervised Miller, told Miller “this will not end well” when he put her on a performance improvement plan while she was on medical leave.

Testimony in the case indicated Miller was an award-winning sales manager who produced similar or better results than her peers who were younger and mostly men.

Egan said the plaintiff’s attorneys asked the jury to send “a message of significance that would capture the attention” of the American Family headquarters.


Information from: The Kansas City Star, https://www.kcstar.com

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide