Significant Case Victories:
I have litigated a wide variety of cases, in State and federal courts at both the trial and appellate levels.
Garcia Labor Law While the vast majority of cases are resolved prior to trial, many involving confidential settlement agreements that cannot be reported, the following is a partial list of cases that I have litigated that is representative of the type of cases I accept for clients.
Media Coverage of Cases:
Oct 15, 2017
To The Point 10/15/17: Sexual harassment in the workplace
May 01, 2018
Husband wins $190K from school board, six years after wife’s victory
March 08, 2018
Appeals court tosses $400K verdict in Tequesta sexual harassment case
November 30, 2017
West Palm still fighting verdict that police wrongly fired Iraq vet
October 10th 2017
City of West Palm Beach to settle racial discrimination lawsuit
November 16 2016
Appeals court rules for sheriff’s deputy who defended polo mogul
Posted: April 21 2016
PBC jury awards Tequesta dispatcher $400K for harassment by former police chief… Read article
Posted: Jan 25 2016
Sewage plant worker up for 130k settlement of whistleblower suit … Read article
Posted: July 16 2015
Worker sues West Palm Beach after firing from sewer plant … Read article
Posted: Nov 24 2014
Paula Prudente lost her teaching job and her state license after a series of inflammatory emails, but now a jury says the Palm Beach County School District owes her $337,000 in back pay … Read article
Posted: Sep 17 2014
Fired firefighter, town settle lawsuit Fired firefighter Jason Weeks has settled his whistleblower lawsuit with the town for $300,000 …. Read article
Posted: Feb 24 2014
West Palm Beach workers settle wrongful termination suit Former West Palm Beach utilities worker Lenny Corrigan and two colleagues have settled their wrongful termination suit against the city….. Read article
Posted: Jan 29 2014
WPB workers settle wrongful termination suit
Posted: Oct 23 2013
Jury awards $762K to veteran fired from Delray job due to post-traumatic stress disorder:For the second time in a month, a jury has slapped a city in Palm Beach County for mistreating a veteran who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder…. Read article
Posted: Aug 30 2013
Jury awards former West Palm Beach officer, fired on PTSD rumors, $880,000: Late Friday, a Palm Beach County jury agreed, ordering West Palm Beach to pay the 28-year-old Army veteran… Read article
Posted: Mar 29 2013
Jury awards Palm Beach County Sheriff’s sergeant $262,000 in discrimination case: Palm Beach County Sheriff’s jail supervisors discriminated against a sergeant because she was white, a jury ruled Tuesday. Read article
Posted: Feb 20 2013
West Palm Beach to pay ex-firefighter $200,000: Mayor Jeri Muoio announced Wednesday that she will ask the commission to pay ex-firefighter captain Rick Curtis $200,000. Read article
Posted: Aug 17 2012
City writes Sheriff Bradshaw to rat out PBSO Deputy McCray: Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Deputy William McCray has long been the thorn in West Palm Beach’s side. And now, a decade after McCray was fired from the West Palm Beach Police Department, the city appears to be gunning after McCray’s job at PBSO. Read article
Posted: July 30 2012
Nash-Utterback vs. Palm Beach County Schools: An assistant principal at Royal Palm Beach High School convinced a jury Tuesday that former Palm Beach County School Superintendent Art Johnson punished her and even went after her husband because she spoke out against some of the longtime school chief’s policies. Read article
Posted: June 2 2012
Officer McCray v. West Palm Beach Police Dept: on 5/23/12, A former West Palm Beach police officer won’t get the $230,000 a jury in 2010 agreed he deserved for enduring years of discrimination, an appeals court ruled today. However, an attorney representing William McCray said, the decision could cost the city far more. Read article
Posted: August 22 2010
Fire-Rescue Lt. Brexel retires as part of settlement of discrimination lawsuit
Posted: July 2 2010
Jeffrey Epstein settles lawsuit with Jane Doe II
Posted: April 8, 2010
Constitution doesn’t protect firefighter’s affair at work, court rules
Posted: May 8, 2010
Three Palm Beach County women join Wal-Mart bias lawsuit
Posted: September 25 2009
Ex-Officer Wins Race Discrimination Case
Posted: September 3 2009
Shapiro v. Department of Children and Families: on 9/4/09, a Palm Beach County jury rendered a 1 million dollar verdict in favor of Ms. Shapiro, a former DCF employee terminated in 2006. The jury took 45 minutes to render the award to Ms. Shapiro, and found in her favor under the Public Sector Whistleblower Act and the Florida Civil Rights Act. it is believed it is the highest verdict awarded to a single employee in the history of Palm Beach County in a wrongful termination case. Read article
Farley v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida: claim for age and disability discrimination. Jury returned verdict for $585,120, plus attorney’s fees and costs for insurance adjuster who was terminated after filing a charge of age and disability discrimination with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Didier v. Goldcoast Agency, Inc., Palm Beach County Circuit Court: claim for unpaid commissions for salesman over a five year period. Jury verdict in 2008 for my client in the amount of $199,435.90, plus attorney’s fees.
Professional Medical Education, Inc. v. Palm Beach County Health Care District, Palm Beach County Circuit Court: claim for tortious interference with prospective business relations, defamation and civil conspiracy to interfere. Jury verdict in 2007 in the amount of $692,400.00, for my client, plus costs. My client is a small medical education company which had its business relations interfered with by medical director of a government agency.
Hutchinson v. West Wind Group, Inc., Palm Beach County Circuit Court: my client, a native of St. Kitts in the Caribbean, worked as a server in a Burger King franchise and was fired after returning from maternity leave, and her new supervisor telling her that he would not rehire her as she was not even “an American.” After a default was entered, an all white jury in 2006 returned a verdict of $150,000 based on national origin discrimination.
Wilson v. Palm Beach County Health Department, Palm Beach County Circuit Court: claim for whistleblower violation. Jury verdict in 2005 for $106,500, for my client, plus attorney’s fees. My client opposed the employer’s practice of revealing HIV status of Palm Beach County Jail inmates to third party, not authorized to receive that information.
Ostry v. City of West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County Circuit Court: claim by owner of residential apartment building for tortious interference with tenants, when it shut building down in retaliation for my client evicting tenant who had relationship with a City Code Inspector. Jury verdict for $230,700 in 2004 for my client, plus costs.
Bryant et al. v. City of West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County Circuit Court: represented one former and four current African American police officers for trial purposes only. Jury (all white) in 2004 returned verdict of $92,000, plus attorney’s fees, for three of the five officers.
Shirley v. Equity Trust Group, Inc. D/b/a Uptown Downtown Flea Market and Outlet Mall, Palm Beach County Circuit Court: Jury awarded $25,775 in 2003 to Jamaican man who was falsely arrested and battered by mall security personnel in the presence of his wife and child while watching a free performance by exercise guru Richard Simmons.
Lobeck v. City of Riviera Beach, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida: claim for “reverse” race discrimination and retaliation by police officer who was demoted. Jury returned verdict for $234,000 on retaliation claim, hung 7 to 1 for the plaintiff on discrimination claim.
Avalos v. Hunter, U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida: My client, a Mexican American deputy who was forced to resign his employment from the Collier County Sheriff’s Department, after enduring years of ethnic taunts and harassment, awarded $320,000 by an all white jury in Tampa, Florida for national origin discrimination claim.
Jackson v. Crowder, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida: My client, an African American Martin County Sheriff’s Department employee, awarded $97,000 by an all white jury in Ft. Pierce, Florida for denial of promotion claim, plus attorney’s fees.
Nida v. Palm Beach Community College, Palm Beach County Circuit Court: Jury awarded my client $155,000 for disparate impact age discrimination claim under the Florida Civil Rights Act, plus attorney’s fees.
Moniz v. Reitano Enterprises, Inc., Palm Beach County Circuit Court: Jury awarded my client $100,000, plus attorney’s fees. My client was a woman who resigned her employment after she was sexually harassed at work and then bitten on the neck by company vice president. Jury said after the verdict that if they had not been instructed by the Court of the applicable caps under Title VII for an employer such as the Defendant in this case, they would have awarded more than one million in damages.
Cueto v. Bieluch, Palm Beach County Circuit Court: Jury awarded $30,000 to my client, a Cuban American employed as a Data Analyst, for a one week suspension determined to be retaliatory,plus attorney’s fees.
Del Sol v. Neumann, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida: Jury awarded $5,650 for civilian sheriff’s department employee who was suspended for two weeks after making complaint of discrimination, plus attorney’s fees.
Scranton v. Wellington Regional Medical Center, Palm Beach County Circuit Court: Jury awarded $4,000, plus attorney’s fees, finding that my client, a part time employee, had been terminated because of her pregnancy.
Significant appellate victories:
Farley v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, 197 F. 3d 1322 (11th Cir. 1999) (affirmed a substantial verdict under the ADEA and ADA and reversed a trial court’s grant of summary judgment on a retaliation claim)
Carsillo v. City of Lake Worth, 995 So. 2d 1118 (Fla. 4th DCA 2008) (Florida Civil Rights Act protects women against discrimination based on pregnancy, disapproving federal cases that had misconstrued the FCRA and its predecessor statutes)
Ric L. Brashaw, Sheriff of Palm Beach County v. Mickins, 946 So. 2d 1237 (Fla. 4th DCA 2007) (Circuit Court order in favor of deputy reversing termination by Sheriff’s Review Board affirmed where Review Board failed to make findings of fact and conclusions of law)
Bagenstos v. Florida Unemployment Appeals Commission, 927 So. 2d 153 (Fla. 4th DCA 2006) (the one time act of an employee in challenging a rude customer to a fight, given the customer’s provocation and the employee’s long satisfactory employment history is not necessarily misconduct within the meaning of the unemployment law)
Rivera v. Torfino Enterprises, Inc., 914 So. 2d 1087 (Fla. 4th DCA 2005) (Florida private sector whistleblower act protects victims who complain of sexual harassment, despite the fact also protected by other laws, disapproving of federal cases that had narrowed the coverage of this law)
Moniz v. Reitano Enterprises, Inc., 709 So. 2d 150 (Fla. 4th DCA 1998) (a woman who was sexually attacked at work by the vice president of a company, can pursue claims for sex discrimination and her claim was not barred by a worker’s compensation claim under the election of remedies doctrine)
Saunders v. Unemployment Appeals Commission, 888 So. 2d 69 (Fla. 4th DCA 2004) (a person who suffers a diabetic attack at work, and must leave the premises to obtain medication, is not guilty of misconduct under the Florida unemployment compensation law, and must be awarded benefits, reversing an order to the contrary from the Florida Unemployment Appeals Commission)
Bledsoe v. Palm Beach County, 133 F. 3d 816 (11th Cir. 1998) (established significant law on the scope of coverage under Title II of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA))
Sinclair v. DeJay Corporation, 170 F. 3d 1045 (11th Cir. 1999) (established that employers who do business in the State of Florida are subject to the Florida Civil Rights Act, even if they employ fewer than 15 employees in the State)
Town of Lake Clarke Shores v. Page, 569 So. 2d 1256 (Fla. 1990) (established that state courts have jurisdiction to hear federal civil rights claims under 42 U.S. C. Section 1983)