Jerome Dobson and Gregory Rich obtained a verdict in favor of Charles Coyle, the Fire Marshal for the City of St. Louis, on his claim that the City discriminated against him because of his race when it failed to promote him to the position of Fire Chief. Coyle, who is African-American, has been a Deputy Fire Chief and the Fire Marshal since 2000.
Coyle applied for the Fire Chief job in 2007, but the City of St. Louis gave the job to a lower-ranking Caucasian employee, which was the first time in the history of the St. Louis Fire Department that a person below the rank of Deputy Fire Chief was promoted to Fire Chief. A jury found that Coyle’s race was a contributing factor in the promotion denial and awarded him $300,000 for economic damages and emotional distress.
The jury also assessed $50,000 in punitive damages against the City of St. Louis.