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Ghanaian man awarded $3M in racial discrimination lawsuit in U.S.

An all-White jury in Maine gave a native of Ghana a $3 million verdict after finding that his previous employers had treated him unfairly after he was dismissed of his duties.

According to WGME, the plaintiff, David Ako-Annan, sued Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center on the grounds that the institution fired him in 2019 because to his race and sexual orientation.

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The 46-year-old was the organization’s primary care practice manager in Orono. Ako-Annan stated in the complaint he filed in October 2019 that his supervisor had treated him unfairly because of his race for the reasons mentioned above. However, the hospital denied those allegations, claiming that their former employee had not investigated worries about a high turnover rate at its Orono location after management raised issues about his performance.

The experiment, which lasted seven days, started two weeks ago. Ako-Annan had worked at the plant since 2013 until he was fired. A day after he returned to the United States from Ghana, where he had gone to see his ill mother, the hospital allegedly fired him.

Ako-Annan informed the jury that, among the organization’s five primary care facilities, he was the only Black guy and the only man in a leadership position at the time of his firing.

The Ghanaian native is said to have gotten into disagreements with his supervisor a few months after the hospital employed her. She was identified as Donna Ashe. The plaintiff’s lawyer, Ryan Schmitz, told jurors that after Ako-Annan registered his worries to Ashe about White female practice managers being treated better than him, she responded by saying that could not have anything against the plaintiff because she has a “Black foster child, so please don’t talk to me about discrimination.” But during the trial, jurors got to know that though Ashe looked after a biracial minor in the 1980s, she wasn’t a foster mother when she made the aforementioned claim to Ako-Annan, WGME reported. Ashe also testified during the trial.

The organization’s attorney, Kasia Park, informed the jury that Ako-Annan was relieved of his duties because he was underperforming. She also claimed the work environment at the facility the plaintiff was posted was “tense, stressful and negative.”

David was the captain, and his office-themed ship was rapidly sinking, according to Park.

Ako-counsel Annan’s expressed concerns with the trial’s location in northern Maine prior to the jury selection at the beginning of November. According to reports, the state’s southern region has a greater diversity of racial and ethnic groups. Additionally, the Black man’s attorneys requested that the trial be transferred to Portland so that they could access a more diverse jury pool, but the presiding judge denied their request.

In his case, Ako-Annan demanded compensatory damages, including back pay, as well as the income and benefits to which he would have been entitled had his employment not been terminated. He asked for punitive damages as well. Ako-Annan stated during his testimony at the trial that he had yet to land another job in his field of expertise and that daily job searching takes four hours. According to Ako-Annan, he had $120,000 in savings at the time of his dismissal. However, he claimed that he had to use $100,000 of that for living costs.

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