2 Plaintiffs, 24 years to Appeal

By Bill Wright

Is this a record? The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled on a case involving 2 plaintiffs and 6 claims. The most remarkable fact is that the case at issue started in June 1990. That’s when the Complaint was filed; the EEOC charge must have been before that. The underlying facts involve pay disparities going back to 1987. In 1993, after the plaintiffs tried to form a collective action on wage issues, and failed, the case went to a trial before a judge without a jury. The court didn’t issue its opinion on liability until 2002, and it didn’t reach a decision on damages until February 2013. Now the court of appeals has reversed part of the ruling and sent the case back to the trial court for a new calculation of damages. Garner et al. v. G.D. Searle Pharmaceuticals Co., No. 13-11218 (11th Cir. September 15, 2014).

24 years and counting. Prejudgment interest alone is over $1.4 million. What might the attorney fees be?