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White Oregon Guards Wrongly Fired in Reverse Discrimination Suit Win $1,000,000 Jury Verdict

Russell Rice and Larry Lytle, both career employees of the Oregon state Department of Corrections, were fired by superintendent Frank Thomas of the Santiam Correctional Institute in early 2004. Both had long histories of exemplary performance. But they formally complained that Thomas, who was black, gave preferential treatment to black officers, which, since they were white, unfairly discriminated against them. It was shortly thereafter that Thomas began to harass them, finally firing them both. Rice and Lytle filed civil actions in state court.

The case proceeded to trial, after which the jury awarded Rice $350,000 in economic damages and $250,000 in non-economic damages, and awarded Lytle $150,000 in economic damages and $250,000 in non-economic damages. See: Rice v. State of Oregon, Marion County Superior Court No. 04C-19412 (2008).

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Related legal case

Rice v. State of Oregon