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California Briefing / San Diego

Jury rules firefighters should get $34,300

February 18, 2009|Tony Perry

A Superior Court jury Tuesday found that four male firefighters were sexually harassed while driving a fire truck in the 2007 gay pride parade and were entitled to $34,300 in damages from the city.

The four sued the city because they were ordered to drive the truck in the 90-minute parade even though firefighters in previous gay pride parades had reported being taunted with sexual innuendoes.

The jury ruled that each of the four should receive $5,000, one should receive an additional $14,200 because he felt compelled to transfer to a different fire station after the incident and another should receive $100 as reimbursement for a co-pay for a counseling session.

"The amount itself is not important -- the city disrespected these men and violated their rights," said their attorney, Charles LiMandri.

Since the lawsuit was filed, Fire Chief Tracy Jarman, who marched in the parade, has changed departmental policy, making participation in parades voluntary.

The city attorney's office, representing the Fire Department, plans to appeal.

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