Wilke, Fleury, Hoffelt, Gould & Birney, LLP (Sacramento, CA) is pleased to announce that a jury in Federal District Court, in California's Eastern District, has awarded clients of Sacramento's Wilke Fleury Law Firm a total of $12.3 million in a pair of verdicts reached late last week against the California Correctional Peace Officers Association. Dawe v. Corrections USA, CCPOA, et al.., (10/18/10 and 10/22/10).
The verdicts include $10 million in punitive damages in a defamation case The damages come on top of $2.3 million in actual damages awarded against the California Correctional Peace Officers Association.
The jury's decision caps a 3-year-old lawsuit against CCPOA and Auburn, California-based Corrections USA, that established that union President Mike Jimenez and other officials breached contracts and spread lies about Brian Dawe and two co-plaintiffs. Dawe and his co-plaintiffs were represented by Wilke Fleury partner, Daniel L. Baxter.
Dawe is a founder and former executive director/treasurer of Corrections USA, a coalition of individual prison officers and prison officer unions from around the country.
CCPOA was a member. It eventually took over the coalition's board and ousted Dawe, who had started "investigating improprieties" in the coalition's California bank account, according to court records.
Dawe proved the unjust firing and false remarks to justify it breached a contract, damaged his reputation and devastated his livelihood.
While defendants have announced they intend to file an appeal before the Ninth Circuit, Baxter commented, "I felt very strongly that our clients were wronged – and the jury rightly agreed. Our clients’ names and reputations — especially in an industry where trust is nearly impossible to regain once it has been called into question — would have been ruined forever, with no hope for fruitful work going forward. We are proud of this result for our clients."