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Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Grants Directed Verdict in Charles Russell v. Local 9 Case

Thomas Smith, attorney at Pellettieri Rabstein and Altman, was granted a directed verdict for The Brotherhood of Plumbers & Pipefitters – Local 9, in a recent discrimination suit brought on by union member Charles Russell. 

Russell, a Roebling, NJ resident, alleged that he had been wrongfully terminated while working as a welder for Shaw Stone and Webster (Shaw) at a job for the PSE&G Powerplant in Trenton, NJ. Russell claimed his termination was a retaliation measure for objecting to what he perceived as racial discrimination towards another union member and coworker. 

Smith, along with fellow PR&A attorney Andrew Watson, argued that Russell was laid off pursuant to a work reduction order by Shaw. Russell, as well as approximately 30 other fitters and welders, and other tradesmen were terminated from their positions on December 19, 2008.

After the plaintiff rested its case, the court entered a directed verdict at the request of the defense dismissing the case. In so doing, Judge Perri found no evidence that Local 9 participated in Russell’s layoff, nor was there any evidence of retaliation.

Russell had been seeking damages for emotional stress, economic damages for lost wages, and punitive damages under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD).

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