– In what could only be described as a major victory for … – In what could only be described as a major victory for Willie Gary and his legal team as well as their co-counsel Michael Sussman, The Department of Civil Service for the State of New York agreed to suspend the administration of the Promotion Test Batteries and also agreed not to use banked battery scores in promotion examinations. Willie Gary, his law partners Tricia (CK) Hoffler and Maria Sperando, associate Maryann Diaz and co-counsel Michael Sussman, filed a class action discrimination lawsuit against the state of New York, on behalf of members of African American and Hispanic civil servants. Gary and his team represent thousands of civil service employees that have been adversely affected by these biased tests.


“This is a major victory,” said famed attorney Willie Gary. “The State of New York has discriminated against Blacks and Hispanics for a very long time in its administration of this very biased and unfair test. This is a first step in a long process to correct the grave injustices suffered by African Americans and Hispanics subjected to the tests.”

The charges levied against the state’s Battery Test, used as an indicator in a broad range of supervisory and managerial positions, is that the test has a disparate impact on African Americans and Hispanics and does not meet the validity criteria under EEOC’s Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures. New York is not the only state that has a “battery” test. There may be as many as 18 other states that have implemented some form of a battery test similar to New York.

Plaintiffs won an earlier victory on July 8, 2005, when District Judge David N. Hurd of the Northern District of New York certified the class allowing African Americans and Hispanics victimized by New York State’s Testing Program to sue the State as a Class rather than as individuals.

“Years of compensation have been affected and families have suffered undue hardship because of these unfair tests,” says Willie E. Gary. “It is unfathomable that something like this could happen in today’s society,” Gary adds. “Since the days of Dr. King, our nation has come so far in the area of race relations. It just goes to show that there is much more work to be done. This type of oppression forces us to reflect on the values of this country and the civil rights Dr. King and Rosa Parks fought for, and we seek justice. It’s about doing what’s right and recognizing that everyone is equal. It is our hope that the State of New York will do the right thing and bring justice to the many people who were negatively affected.”

Gary’s legal team is noted for winning a $240 million jury verdict in Orange County against the Walt Disney Corporation for their clients who alleged Disney stole their idea for a sports theme park. They were also awarded $18.28 million against the media conglomerate Gannett Company for the false portrayal of their client in a series of newspaper articles, one of the largest verdicts against a media outlet in the southeastern United States. In 2001, a jury awarded Gary a $139.6 million verdict for the Maris Distributing Company against Anheuser Busch. In addition, Gary was given a half-billion dollar verdict in Jackson, Mississippi, against the Loewen Group, a large Canadian funeral home chain. Gary also serves as legal counsel for pop entertainer Michael Jackson and boxing promoter Don King.

SOURCE Law Offices of Gary, Williams, Parenti, Finney, Lewis, McManus, Watson and Sperando, P.L.

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