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Date: 03-31-2007

Case Style: Paula Payne v. West Feliciana Parish School System

Case Number: 3:05-cv-00820-JJB-CN

Judge: James J. Brady

Court: United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana (Baton Rouge Parish)

Plaintiff's Attorney:

Jill Craft of Craft & Craft, Baton Rouge, Lousiana

Defendant's Attorney:

Bob Hammonds, Karen Murphy, Brett Searcy and Frank Endom, Hammonds & Sills, Baton Rouge, Louisiana


Paula Payne sued West Feliciana Parish School System for violating her civil rights, 42 U.S.C. 1983 and retaliating against by suspending and demoting after she refused to change the Ds and Fs she gave to 70 percent of her students. Plaintiff was suspended for five days in November 2004 because she refused to meet with administrators unless a Louisiana Education Association representative was there. Plaintiff a 16-year teacher claimed that she was suspended and demoted because she refused to change the grades and then her story to a television station. Louisiana law bars any principal, superintendent or school board member from influencing or altering a student's grade. In January 2005, Plaintiff was suspended her for 45 days for willful neglect of duty. She was then made a library monitor and was given tutoring classes with no students. She now teach English to inmates at the Dixon Correctional Center.

Defendants denied wrongdoing.

Outcome: Plaintiff's verdict for $1.4 million including $1.2 million for mental anguish and $200,000 in punitive damages.

Plaintiff's Experts: Unknown

Defendant's Experts: Unknown

Comments: None

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