Twice, the primary feminine police officer in Union Township, Union County, took her former employer to trial, arguing the city had discriminated in opposition to her by denying lifetime well being advantages made obtainable to male colleagues.
Twice, juries awarded the officer, MaryAnne Cosimano, damages reaching into the six figures.
Now, the township is asking a federal decide to both throw out the case or grant the municipality what Cosimano’s legal professional in court docket filings has referred to as “a 3rd chew on the proverbial apple.”
Chatting with NJ Advance Media by cellphone Wednesday, Cosimano’s legal professional David Corrigan stated the township’s continued battle is “distressing for everyone, together with the general public.”
“They’re spending some huge cash on this poor woman,” Corrigan stated. “A number of taxpayer cash.”
Along with the township’s movement, he stated, Cosimano has a movement pending searching for greater than $1.2 million in attorneys’ charges.
The township has claimed Cosimano’s 2010 retirement left her in need of the 25-year service requirement to obtain lifetime advantages, a willpower that had been made by the municipality’s personnel director.
Cosimano — who court docket filings point out labored for the township as a police officer for 21 years and as a Union County police officer for one 12 months — has argued male colleagues with lower than 25 years within the Police and Hearth Retirement System had been allowed to gather well being advantages by “buying” the stability of the 25-year interval.
However after she purchased out her remaining time for $20,000, Cosimano argued, the township informed her that bought service interval was not relevant to her pension necessities.
Cosimano’s first trial in 2017 ended with a jury awarding her $355,0000, however the township that August gained a movement for a brand new trial. After one other jury this April once more present in Cosimano’s favor, the decide imposed a judgment of $349,291.
In briefs filed final month in assist of its movement for a brand new trial, the township’s attorneys argued U.S. District Choose Jose Linares ought to have discovered there was inadequate proof to assist the jury’s verdict and deferred to the township beneath established case regulation.
Attorneys from the Liberty Nook agency of Apruzzese, McDermott, Mastro & Murphy cited what they stated was the decision’s battle with a previous Superior Courtroom ruling, which agreed with the township as to how pension time ought to be counted to find out advantages eligibility.
That battle, the township’s attorneys stated, runs afoul of a procedural rule barring federal courts from interfering with state court docket choices in associated circumstances.
“The court docket’s choices and rulings, each earlier than and through trial, allowed proof to be entered into the file, and introduced to the jury, that by no means ought to have been admitted,” attorneys wrote in a 64-page submitting on June 5.
Reached by e mail Wednesday night, a spokesperson for the township stated the municipality couldn’t touch upon the pending litigation.
In a reply to the township’s movement, Cosimano’s legal professional argued that not solely had she introduced adequate proof for the jury to search out discrimination had occurred, however that the prior state court docket choice pertained solely as to whether the township had violated a collective bargaining settlement — not whether or not she had been discriminated in opposition to.
“Not one of the causes superior by the township warrant setting apart the jury’s verdict, which was supported by substantial, credible, and admissible proof, or ordering a brand new trial, which was eminently truthful to the township,” Corrigan wrote.
Linares has but to rule on the pending motions.
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