|POSTED: 5:27 pm PDT June 7,
2007 -- A jury Thursday awarded $3.75 million to a Los Angeles Fire Department captain who
alleged he was retaliated against for refusing to give preferential treatment to a female
A Los Angeles Superior Court jury of seven men and five women deliberated about 1 1/2 days
before finding in favor of LAFD Capt. Frank Lima, who filed his lawsuit in May 2006.
"We are disappointed with the verdict and are considering our options," said
Jonathan Diamond, a spokesman for the City Attorney's Office. Click here to find out more!
Lima claimed he was discriminated and retaliated against because he was a male and applied
the same standards in training a female recruit that he would have done had she been a
Lima's duties included training firefighters in emergency tactics and conducting
firefighting drills, according to his court papers. In June 2004, he supervised training
for Melissa B. Kelley as she tried and failed to perform a training exercise involving a
35-foot ladder, according to his lawsuit.
Kelley later claimed she was injured and that Lima had humiliated her, even though she
never told him on the day of the training that she was hurt, Lima's court papers state.
Lima claims he was transferred from the station where he was working. He said he also was
told by a supervisor during a May 2005 Board of Rights hearing regarding the Kelley
incident to treat women differently and in a disparate manner because it was difficult to
recruit and retain female firefighters.
The board found that Lima did not harass Kelley because of her gender, but reprimanded him
for not taking steps to ensure her safety, according to his court papers, which state that
the board "came to this erroneous decision despite the fact the drill was proper and
Lima had no knowledge of Kelley's prior injury."
Lima's attorney, Gregory W. Smith, said Lima also was denied a prestigious promotion to a
higher rank of captain.
Smith said his client is anxious to return to the Pacific Palisades fire station where he
"He just wants to go back to work and serve the citizens of Los Angeles," Smith
said. "Now he won't have to worry about being retaliated against."
-- Excerpted from KNBC News Story