Tuesday, May 22, 2018
News Roundup

Judge sets aside $23,000 verdict against Pasco County in workplace retaliation case

TAMPA — A federal judge on Tuesday set aside a $23,000 verdict against Pasco County in a workplace retaliation lawsuit filed by two county firefighters.

The verdict focused on psychological tests the county ordered Anthony Booth and Jerry Brown to take last summer, after the men said they feared fellow firefighters might not save them if they were caught in a burning building. Both men said they felt ostracized for filing discrimination claims at Pasco Fire Rescue. Though a jury last month found those tests were retaliatory, U.S. District Judge James Moody said the county "had to deal with a serious safety issue" in checking whether the men were fit for duty.

Moody refused to overturn a $166,000 verdict against the Pasco County Professional Firefighters union for writing a legal memo that singled out Booth and Brown by name, called their discrimination claims "frivolous" and said their lawsuit might cause union dues to go up.

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