A former executive in North Carolina has won $10 million in a lawsuit after he was fired for being White, the New York Post reports.
David Duvall previously served as a senior vice president of marketing and communication at the health care system Novant Health. But in July of 2018, Duvall said that he was fired with no prior warning or justification, around the same time that the company decided that it needed more “diversity” in its executive ranks.
“We are pleased that the jury agreed that Duvall’s race and gender were unlawful factors in his termination — that he was fired to make room for more diverse leaders at Novant,” his attorney, S. Luke Largess, said in a statement after the verdict on Tuesday. “Duvall was a strong advocate of diversity at Novant. We believe the punitive damages award is a message that an employer cannot terminate and replace employees in order to achieve greater diversity in the workforce.”
A representative for Novant continued to deny that Duvall was fired for being White, even after the federal jury made their decision. The company instead claimed that he was fired for “poor leadership.”
“We are extremely disappointed with the verdict,” said Novant spokeswoman Megan Rivers, “as we believe it is not supported by the evidence presented at trial, which includes our reason for Mr. Duvall’s termination. We will pursue all legal options, including appeal, over the next several weeks and months.”