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Date: 10-18-1999

Case Style: Larry Phillips v. State of Missour, Department of Social Services, Division of Family Services, et al.

Case Number: 97-CV-0748

Judge: Nanette K. Laughrey

Court: United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri

Plaintiff's Attorney: Todd A. Nielson of Olsen & Talpers, P.C., Kansas City, Missouri

Defendant's Attorney: Jeremiah W. Jay Nixon, Wayne K. Davis and John R. Munich, Missouri Attorney General's Office, Jeffeson City, Missouri

Description: Civil Rights - Title VII - 42 U.S.C. 2000e - Religious Discrimination Claim - Larry Phillips sued the State of Missouri and his supervisors alleging that they retaliated against him and terminated him because he was a Christian who was offended by homosexuality and abortion.

Plaintiff was employed as a social worker by the Division of Family services and was responsible for placing children in foster homes. He found that placing children in the care of homosexuals was "totally repugnant" to his Christian values and contrary to his training.

Plaintiff's belief system caused him to conflict with his immediate superiors on numerous issues and he was ultimately fired.

The State of Missouri denied wrongdoing.

Outcome: Plaintiff's verdict for $1,500 in actual damages and $25,000 in punitive damages.

Plaintiff's Experts: Unknown

Defendant's Experts: Unknown

Comments: The District Court has the discretion to award attorney fees and costs to a prevailing plaintiff in Title VII cases.

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