Male hospital executive wins $10M in discrimination lawsuit after being replaced by women

Published: Oct. 28, 2021 at 2:07 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV/Gray News) – A man in North Carolina won a $10 million payout after claiming he was fired and replaced with two women.

According to WBTV, David Duvall’s attorneys filed the lawsuit in 2019.

Court documents show he was fired from Novant Health on July 30, 2018. He had served as senior vice president of marketing and communications.

Duvall claimed he and other “white male leaders were dismissed from employment without warning and replaced by women and/or minorities,” court documents state.

He claimed in the suit that his firing was part of a push for diversity, stemming from a 2015 commitment Novant Health signed onto, along with other health systems nationwide, to address health care inequities.

Duvall said he was terminated six days before his fifth work anniversary, avoiding a claim for 18 months’ severance promised him when he was hired.

A federal jury ruled in Duvall’s favor Tuesday. He was awarded $10 million in punitive damages.

On the verdict form, the panel checked “yes” to the question, “Has Plaintiff David Duvall proven that his race (Caucasian) and/or his sex (male) was a motivating factor in Novant Health’s decision to terminate him?”

For the second question, which asked, “Has Novant Health proven that it would have made the same decision to terminate David Duvall regardless of his race (Caucasian) and/or his sex (male)?” the jury checked “No,” according to the verdict form.

A spokesperson for Novant Health released the following statement in response to the verdict:

We are extremely disappointed with the verdict as we believe it is not supported by the evidence presented at trial, which includes our reason for Mr. Duvall’s termination. We will pursue all legal options, including appeal, over the next several weeks and months.

Novant Health is one of thousands of organizations to put in place robust diversity and inclusion programs, which we believe can co-exist alongside strong non-discriminatory policies that extend to all races and genders, including white men. It’s important for all current and future team members to know that this verdict will not change Novant Health’s steadfast commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity for all.

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