O’Bannon v. Friedman’s

O’Bannon. v. Friedman’s is a class action race discrimination case filed in 2003 against a national jewelry store chain in the federal district court in Maryland.  Three African American plaintiffs and one white plaintiff alleged that Friedman’s discriminatorily denied hiring to African Americans for store associate and store manager jobs, denied promotions to African Americans for higher level management jobs, and paid African American employees less than similarly qualified white employees in the same job.  In this class action Goldstein, Borgen, Dardarian & Ho represented several thousand African Americans who worked in Friedman’s store positions as well as rejected applicants for store positions.  In the Spring of 2004, the parties reached agreement on the terms of what they agreed would have been a full and fair settlement of the case, including comprehensive injunctive relief and significant monetary relief for the class.  Unfortunately, the settlement could not be completed in that form because Friedman’s entered bankruptcy proceedings.  A revised class settlement, including injunctive relief and a reduced amount of monetary relief, was then re-negotiated.  Before it could be implemented, Friedman’s again went into bankruptcy and this time chose dissolution.  The monetary terms of the settlement, including over a million dollars to be paid to the named plaintiffs, class members, and for costs and a small portion of our attorneys’ fees, were finally completed and approved in February 2009.