The Plaintiff, Bill Dominic, was represented by Joe Byars. Suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas, Judge Hendren presiding. Mr. Dominic asserted claims of sexual harassment, and retaliation, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. 2000, et seq, and the Arkansas Civil Rights Act, Ark. Code Ann. 16-123-101, et seq. After prevailing on motions for summary judgment seeking dismissal prior to trial, the case was presented to a jury over the course of several days. The jury returned a verdict in favor of our client, awarding Mr. Dominic $50,000.00 in compensatory damages on the claim of negligent supervision, $50,000.00 in compensatory damages on the sexual harassment and retaliation claims, and $13,000.00 in lost wages and benefits on the retaliation claims. The jury also awarded Mr. Dominic $250,000.00 in punitive damages based on the Title VII sexual harassment and retaliation claims. In addition, the court awarded attorney’s fees of $50,964.51, and judgment was entered in the total amount of $413,964.51. DeVilbiss filed a motion for new trial and to vacate the punitive damages award. The U.S. District Court denied the motion of DeVilbiss, and the case was taken to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. The Court of Appeals found that the issue of punitive damages should not have been presented to the jury, but affirmed the remaining part of the judgment.
Jury verdict in favor of client, Reeder-Simco GMC, Inc., in the principal amount of $1,871,750.00; judgment with RPA claim trebled pursuant to law, plus attorneys fees: $4,784,020.42. Joe Byars represented Reeder-Simco GMC in a case asserted against a manufacturer of heavy trucks, Volvo GM Heavy Truck Co., during the same time that the dealership was still a licensed dealer of Volvo. Reeder-Simco alleged unfair price discrimination under the Robison-Putman Act (RPA), and a failure to deal in good faith, and in a commercially reasonable manner under the Arkansas Franchise Practice Act (AFPA). During the pendency of the action, Reeder-Simco GMC obtained one of its largest sales in its history, selling hundreds of heavy duty truck units to a local trucking company. At trial, Reeder-Simco presented testimony of how the manufacturer failed to extend similar discounts of wholesale pricing to Reeder-Simco as it had with other heavy truck dealers. Volvo disputed the allegations, and further maintained that neither the state statute (the AFPA) nor the RPA was applicable. After the two-week jury trial, the jury found in favor of Reeder-Simco, and awarded damages of $1,358,000 on the RPA claim, and $513,750.00 on the AFPA claim. The RPA claim was trebled to $4,074,000.00. The court also awarded attorneys fees of $171,095.00 and costs of $25,175.42 for a total judgment of $4,784,029.42. The RPA claim went to the U.S. Supreme Court, which was reversed, but the AFPA claim was upheld on appeal.