It’s back to the trial court for former Price is Right model Brandi Cochran. She’d previously been awarded $7.7 million in a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit against the TV show’s producer FreeMantle Media North America, but that verdict was set aside and a new trial ordered in light of a recent decision by the California Supreme Court.
The jury in Cochran’s case received instructions on determining whether FreeMantle illegally discriminated against her because of her pregnancy resulting in her termination that were later found to be an incorrect statement of California employment discrimination law. The jury was instructed that if Cochran’s pregnancy was a motivating factor or reason for her termination, then she should win her case.
But, the California Supreme Court said that was not enough to hold an employer responsible for discrimination based on pregnancy. In Cochran’s case, her pregnancy must have been a substantial motivating factor for her termination for her to win the pregnancy discrimination case.
During her pregnancy with twins, Cochran was called to work less frequently as she began to show. After her delivery, she claims the show gave her the runaround for four months when she was trying to nail down details about returning to work.
Cochran’s attorney appears to welcome the opportunity to retry the pregnancy discrimination case, believing the value of the case to be much higher for the former Price is Right model the second time around. He believes that a jury will likely award three to four times more than the first jury did when given the facts of the pregnancy discrimination case and an appropriate instruction on how to decide the case.
Source: ABC News, “‘Price Is Right’ Model’s $7.7M Lawsuit Tossed,” March 14, 2013