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Federal Court of Appeals Affirms Significant Jury Verdict in Favor of AZA’s Client
May 20, 2007
On May 3, 2007, the Federal Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit unanimously affirmed a sizeable jury verdict in favor of a former commercial pilot against his employer for violations of the Family Medical Leave Act. Joseph Ahmad was lead counsel for Leonard Firth, a corporate pilot for Don McGill Toyota in Houston. In 2003, after a sudden onset of illness, Firth went on leave under the Family Medical Leave Act. Shortly thereafter, McGill terminated Firth. Firth brought suit, represented by Mr. Ahmad, claiming that he was terminated because of his medical leave. McGill claimed that Firth was not protected under the federal law because he did not work the requisite number of hours and that Firth was terminated for performance reasons. The jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of Firth, after which the federal district judge for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas entered judgment in favor of Mr. Ahmad’s client. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected all of Don McGill’s arguments and affirmed the judgment in its entirety.