Mitchell v. City of Tupelo, MS

Latisha Mitchell v. City of Tupelo, Mississippi

U.S.D.C., Northern District of Mississippi, Aberdeen Division

Cause No. 1:13-cv-00049-SA-DAS

On September 19, 2014, a jury in the United States District Court in Aberdeen, Mississippi, awarded Latisha Mitchell of Baldwyn, Mississippi, $65,000.00 in damages against the City of Tupelo, Mississippi.

Mitchell worked as a municipal court bailiff in Tupelo. She suffered back and neck injuries when she took down a 250-pound prisoner who was hanging himself, saving the prisoner’s life. Thereafter, she requested to move to a vacant position which did not require physical activity. She filed EEOC charges of discrimination when the City refused to give her that job. The City then ordered her to leave her part-time job as a security officer at Kroger, and shortly thereafter, terminated her bailiff’s position on grounds that she was no longer physically able to re-qualify with a firearm. State law requires police officers to re-qualify each year.

The jury found that the City did not discriminate against Mitchell on grounds of disability, but did retaliate against her because she filed EEOC charges. The jury verdict encompassed lost income up to the date of trial.

Attorneys for Plaintiff were Jim Waide and Rachel Pierce Waide of Waide & Associates, P.A. in Tupelo, Mississippi. Attorneys for Defendant were John S. Hill and Stephen P. Spencer of Mitchell, McNutt & Sams, P.A. in Tupelo, Mississippi. U.S. District Judge Sharion Aycock presided over the five-day trial.