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Take-Nothing Defense Verdict in Discrimination Case
On July 13, 2016, Stephanie Rojo and Zandra Foley obtained a unanimous take-nothing defense verdict for a client in a race discrimination case. The trial took place in front of an 8-person jury in federal court in Houston, with the Honorable David Hittner presiding. The plaintiff, who was Hispanic, claimed the client’s plant manager had terminated his employment because of his race. The plaintiff had been involved in a fight on company property, but claimed he had not instigated the fight and had instead been attacked by his co-worker. Both the plaintiff and the co-worker, who was also Hispanic, were fired immediately after the incident. Ultimately, the jury determined that the client’s stated reason for the plaintiff’s termination was not a pretext for race discrimination. The case was styled Ernesto Lopez v. Acme Brick Company, Civil Action No. 4:15-cv-00752, In the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division.