Jury awards $10 million to white former Novant Health executive for ‘reverse discrimination’ in firing

Nation and World News

CHARLOTTE (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) — Novant Health is ordered to pay punitive damages to a former hospital executive who claimed he was fired for reasons of reverse discrimination.

The attorney for David Duvall, Luke Largess, tells FOX 46 that his client won $10 million against Novant Health.

Duvall, a white man, was the Senior Vice President for Marketing and Communications at Novant for five years when “he was fired and replaced by two women, one a racial minority, during a Diversity and Inclusion initiative in 2018 that included explicit goals to remake the demographics of Novant’s senior leadership,” according to his attorney, Largess.

A jury in US District Court for the Western District of North Carolina Charlotte Division sided with Duvall, stating in court records that Duvall proved “that his race (Caucasian) and/or his sex (male) was a motivating factor in Novant Health’s decision to terminate him” and that Novant Health did not prove “that it would have made the same decision to terminate David Duvall regardless of his race (Caucasian) and/or his sex (male).”

Additional details about Duvall’s case were not immediately provided to FOX 46.

Novant Health released a statement Tuesday, saying the verdict “is not supported by the evidence presented at trial, which includes our reason for Mr. Duvall’s termination.”

“We are extremely disappointed with the verdict as we believe it is not supported by the evidence presented at trial, which includes our reason for Mr. Duvall’s termination. We will pursue all legal options, including appeal, over the next several weeks and months.

Novant Health is one of thousands of organizations to put in place robust diversity and inclusion programs, which we believe can co-exist alongside strong non-discriminatory policies that extend to all races and genders, including white men. It’s important for all current and future team members to know that this verdict will not change Novant Health’s steadfast commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity for all.”

Megan Rivers, Director of Media & Influencer Relations, Novant Health

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