Road Workers won $500,000 Settlement

17 Monroe County Road Workers Settle First Amendment Political Retaliation Lawsuit for $500,000
Settlement Sends Important Message to Government Officials Throughout Tennessee
June 12, 2014 – Knoxville, TN – Today, seventeen road workers who brought a federal civil rights lawsuit against their former employers, Monroe County, Tennessee government and its Road Superintendent, Steve Teague, reached a $500,000 settlement.
Following the August 2010 county elections, on September 1, 2010, newly elected Monroe County Road Superintendent Steve Teague eliminated the jobs of workers who had supported his political opponent. Shortly thereafter, 17 of these workers who lost their jobs filed a lawsuit in federal court in Knoxville alleging that their First Amendment right to political speech was violated by Mr. Teague retaliating against them for supporting his political opponent.
After three days of trial, the parties reached this settlement that Plaintiffs and their counsel hope will send a powerful message to all government officials in Tennessee – that government workers have the right to participate in elections without fear of retaliation from those elected to serve the public.
The Plaintiffs are represented by David Garrison and Scott Tift of the Nashville, Tennessee law firm, Barrett Johnston, LLC, and by Ned Pillersdorf of Pillersdorf, DeRossett & Lane of Prestonsburg, Kentucky – lawyers who specialize in civil rights litigation and the representation of employees.
“When employees like these county road workers band together to enforce their rights, our system of justice works – by achieving a just settlement for these workers and disclosing their struggle to the public,” said Scott Tift, lead trial counsel for the workers. “We hope that this case will ensure that government officials in Tennessee don’t let their politics trump their oath to abide by our Constitution when it comes to employing those who serve the public,” added David Garrison.
David Garrison (615) 714-7953
Scott Tift (615) 636-2495