Judge Names Boeing Racial Bias Case Lead Plaintiff Counsel

July 18, 2003 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A federal judge has tapped a Seattle law firm as plaintiff lead counsel in a racial bias class-action lawsuit against the Boeing Company.

According to a news release from law firm Hagens Berman, it received the lead counsel designation representing about 15,000 black workers in an order by US District Judge John Coughenour who is set to hear the discrimination case against the giant aircraft manufacturer.

The Hagens Berman announcement said the latest court action against Boeing is actually the second time around after a federal appeals court threw out the original $15-million settlement reached in 1999 as being inadequate (See “Inflated” Atty Fees Too Much for Boeing Settlement ).

A three-judge panel of the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals took issue with the settlement’s nearly $4 million in lawyers’ fees, as well as the agreement’s “two tiered” structure of awarding damages.

The original lawsuit accused Boeing of failing to give minority employees equal opportunity for advancement and for harassing them when they complained of the practice. Boeing admitted no wrongdoing in the 1999 settlement and agreed to use a portion of the funds to create programs to address employee concerns.