Jury Awards $4.3 Million to 23-Year LAPD Veteran Who Suffered Disability Discrimination and Retaliation

After a two-week trial, McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP obtained a $4.3 million jury verdict on behalf of Lou Vince, a veteran lieutenant officer with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) who was subjected to disability discrimination and retaliation after suffering a severe back injury and underwent a spinal fusion. Initially, LAPD and the City of Los Angeles agreed they would help him, but they neglected to do so after the commanding officer refused to accommodate his medical needs and restrictions and forced him back to work before he was ready to perform his full duties once again. After months of asking to be accommodated upon his return, they began retaliating against him for such complaints. This began a five-year campaign of adverse actions to continue sending Vince a message: stop complaining or we will never let you out of the penalty box.

It was also undisputed that Vince’s chief kept a secret file on him concerning all these issues but destroyed it two years after the lawsuit began. They also forbid Vince to legally use political flyers as a way to hamper his election campaign when running for Congress in 2016 as well as retaliated against his wife, who is also a sworn LAPD officer, by threatening her career.

“Prior to his back injury, Lou was a 23-year veteran of the LAPD and had performed his job in exemplary fashion. Instead of the City of Los Angeles performing their legal duty to protect Lou from retaliation and harassment and provide reasonable accommodations for his disability, they allowed significant, long-term damage to his professional reputation and personal health,” said Matthew McNicholas, Partner at McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP and panel counsel to the Los Angeles Police Protective League. “The LAPD’s misconduct was so severe, Lou’s wife’s career was also on the line in connection to his disability discrimination and retaliation.”