Laborer files racial discrimination lawsuit after supervisor allegedly displays noose at work site

Michelle Keahey Jun. 22, 2012, 2:33am


NEW ORLEANS - An African-American day laborer has filed a lawsuit against his former employer that claims he was subjected to a racially hostile environment when his supervisor made a noose and left it on the ground for the workers to see.

Dedric D. Brown filed suit against Great Southern Dredging Inc. on June 3 in federal court in New Orleans.

Brown was hired as a pile driver by the defendant in February 2010. He states that he was treated as a "day laborer" beginning on his first day of employment with Great Southern. In April 2010, Brown's supervisor allegedly formed a noose out of company tag line and laid the noose on the ground, where it remained for the entire work day.

According to the lawsuit, the supervisor also made racially offensive comments about Brown and the noose. Brown was the only African American at the job site.

Shortly after this incident, Brown injured his foot and was supposed to be placed on a light duty position.

He was terminated on May 27, 2010, because Great Southern claimed that Brown could no longer perform the light duty assignment, the suit states.

Brown alleges that he was subjected to a racially hostile work environment and was terminated due to his race.

The plaintiff is seeking an award of damages for back pay, front pay, mental anguish and depression, humiliation, embarrassment, loss of enjoyment of life, medical expenses, interest, uncapped punitive damages, attorney's fees, interest, and court costs.

Brown is represented by New Orleans attorneys James L. Arruebarrena and Rachel Martin-Deckelmann. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Nannette Jolivette Brown is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:12-cv-01419

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