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Ghanaian Man Awarded $3M In Racial Discrimination Lawsuit In U.S.

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After determining that his former employers racially discriminated against him when he was relieved of his duties, an all-White jury in Maine awarded $3 million to a Ghanaian native. According to WGME, the plaintiff, David Ako-Annan, filed a lawsuit against Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center in 2019, alleging that the organization fired him because of his race and gender.

The practice manager of the organization’s Orono primary care location was the 46-year-old. In the lawsuit, filed in October 2019, Ako-Annan claimed that his supervisor was racially discriminating against him for the reasons stated above.

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The hospital, on the other hand, refuted those claims, claiming that their former employee did nothing to investigate concerns about a high turnover rate at its Orono location after management raised concerns about his performance.

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The trial, which lasted seven days, began two weeks ago. Ako-Annan had worked at the facility since 2013 until his termination. And the hospital is said to have fired him the day after he returned to the United States from visiting his sick mother in Ghana. At the time of his dismissal, Ako-Annan told the jury that his managerial position made him the only Black and only male in the organization’s five primary care locations.

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A few months after the hospital hired her, the Ghanaian native is said to have had disagreements with his supervisor. Donna Ashe was her given name. Ryan Schmitz, the plaintiff’s lawyer, told jurors that after Ako-Annan expressed concern to Ashe about White female practice managers being treated better than him, she responded by saying she couldn’t have anything against the plaintiff because she has a “Black foster child, so please don’t talk to me about discrimination.”

However, jurors learned during the trial that, while Ashe did care for a biracial minor in the 1980s, she was not a foster mother when she made the aforementioned claim to Ako-Annan, according to WGME. During the trial, Ashe also testified.

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 ship, the office, was going down fast,” said Park.

Prior to the jury selection in early November, Ako-attorneys Annan’s expressed concerns about the trial’s location in northern Maine. The southern part of the state is said to be more diverse in terms of race and ethnicity. The Black man’s lawyers attempted to have the trial moved to Portland so that they could have a more diverse jury pool, but the presiding judge denied the motion.

Ako-Annan filed the lawsuit in order to recover compensatory damages such as back pay as well as the salary and benefits he would have received if his employment had not been terminated. He also asked for punitive damages. During his testimony at the trial, Ako-Annan stated that he had yet to find another job in his field of expertise, and that it takes him four hours every day to look for work. Ako-Annan stated that he had $120,000 in savings at the time of his dismissal. However, he claims that he has had to spend $100,000 of that on living expenses.

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Written by How Africa News

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