Todd Mensing Wins Substantial Jury Verdict in Age Discrimination Suit on Behalf of Former Seismic Company Executive
July 10, 2007

Todd Mensing and John Zavitsanos represented Gaines Watkins, a former manufacturing manager for Input/Output, a publicly traded seismic company. Input/Output terminated Watkins in April 2001. At the time, Watkins was 68 years old. Input/Output alleged that it terminated Watkins because he did not have the requisite skill set necessary for the substantial changes Input/Output was about to implement. The company also argued that Watkins was terminated in the midst of a company layoff and that his position was eliminated after they terminated him. During the course of the lawsuit Mensing took nearly 20 depositions, including depositions of the former CEO of the company, submitted extensive briefing in response to Input/Output’s motion for summary judgment, and secured the production of nearly 20,000 pages of documents. During trial, Mensing and Zavitsanos were able to demonstrate to the jury that Input/Output terminated Watkins because of his age and as part of an overall company movement to make its workforce younger. The trial lasted a week and a half. The jury deliberated over 2 days after which it returned a unanimous verdict in favor of Mensing’s client. At the time of his termination, Watkins earned approximately $120,000 per year (including bonuses). The jury not only found discrimination, but entered a finding of willfulness as well. As a result, the total verdict was nearly $1 million. The plaintiff also intends to request approximately $500,000 in attorney’s fees for the extensive work done on this case over the last 5 years, thereby putting the total value of this case at about $1.5 million.


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