Gay Man Wins $1 mill in Air Travel Lawsuit

A jury has awarded a Buxton man more than $1 million in a discrimination case based on sexual orientation — the largest such award to date in Maine.

Edward Russell’s attorney, Guy Loranger, argued in Cumberland County Superior Court that his client was repeatedly passed up for promotion because he is gay. In late June, a jury agreed after hearing three days of evidence and deliberating for six hours.

The jury found that Russell’s former employer, Express Jet Airlines, had violated Maine’s Human Rights Act, which bars discrimination based on sexual orientation. Jurors awarded Russell $500,000 for emotional distress, $500,000 for punitive damages and $47,000 in lost wages.

“This guy was completely qualified to do the job,” Loranger said. “The jury said it didn’t matter his color, his race, his national origin or his sexual preference — he was qualified to do the job and you should have allowed him to do it.”

Read the full story at Press Herald .