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Sheriff's Lost Lawsuit Could Cost County Another $5.3 Million

Dave Conner / Flickr

Dave Conner / Flickr

A Sacramento Superior Court judge has issued a tentative ruling that -if finalized- would pay the plaintiff's attorneys in the case another $5.3 million dollars.

The lawsuit was filed by four female sheriff's deputies six years ago. They claimed the department discriminated against them and retaliated when they complained.

In May, a jury awarded the four women $3.7 million in damages.

In today's tentative ruling, Judge David DeAlba said the plaintiff's attorneys should receive about $3.5 million for their billable hours. He also added another one-point-eight million dollars because of a multiplier provision. It allows a judge to take into account the risk the plaintiff's attorneys took in suing the county and for the length of time the case took.          

The plaintiffs in the case had sought higher rates and more billable hours, but the judge reduced both. One attorney's rate was reduced from $695 per hour to $550 per hour.

For another attorney, he cut the number of billable hours by half.

The County is appealing the decision in the discrimination case.

Bob Moffitt

Sacramento Region Reporter

Bob reports on all things northern California and Nevada. His coverage of police technology, local athletes, and the environment has won a regional Associated Press and several Edward R. Murrow awards.   Read Full Bio 

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