SANTA ANA — A Fullerton doctor who lost a racial discrimination lawsuit earlier this week and was ordered to pay more than $650,000 to another physician will appeal the jury's verdict, his attorney said Friday.
"It was a totally unjust verdict," said Donald R. Beck, the attorney for Dr. Kihong Kwon, a thoracic surgeon.
In one the largest awards for a racial discrimination case in Orange County, a jury found that Kwon discriminated against Dr. Kenneth Bridges, a black physician, and unjustly fired him just 10 days after hiring him.
According to testimony during the three-week trial, Kwon had referred to Bridges as that "dumb nigger," Bridges' attorneys said.
Beck said that Bridges' termination had nothing to do with race. Rather, Bridges was fired because his surgical abilities were "not up to Dr. Kwon's standards," Beck said.
Among Kwon's complaints was that Bridges handled surgical equipment in an unsterile manner and improperly harvested veins for transplant operations.
Beck said that he plans to file a notice of appeal. He also said that if Bridges ultimately prevails, Kwon will have the pay the $657,000 jury award out of his own pocket. "It's not covered by insurance," he said.