On February 27, 2014, in what a lawyer stated was the biggest reward of its type in Los Angeles legal history, a sixty-six-year-old man was given $26 million by a jury that decided he was victimized and harassed based on his age by his supervisors at Staples. A Los Angeles Superior Court jury considered for some of February 25 and February 26, 2014 prior to deciding in Bobby Nickel’s favor. The panel gave him $3.2 million in compensatory damages and over $22.8 million in punitive damages.
Bobby Dean Nickel was sixty-four years old when he was fired from his job. He was employed by Corporate Express in August 2002 as a facilities manager. Staples Contract and Staples Inc. obtained Corporate Express in 2008. As stated in his Los Angeles Superior Court claim, Nickel obtained constructive job evaluations for nine years. Since Corporate Express’ salary range was more elevated than that of Staples-employed workers, he claimed in his complaint that his managers wished to lay off older, more elevated salaried workers. Furthermore, Nickel’s complaint maintained that he was a normal target of jokes at personnel meetings and alluded to as “old coot” and “old goat.”
Following his refusal to leave when a manager prompted him to, Nickel experienced a string of fabricated charges and elevating degrees of harassment for colleagues and a manager, as well as being suspended for appropriating a sixty-eight-cent bell pepper from the company dining hall, as maintained by the claim. A receptionist informed Nickel that management commanded her to offer a fabricated account about Nickel’s behavior. However, she declined to do so, as stated by the claim.
Defense lawyers refuted any bad behavior on Staples’ part and that Nickel endured the damages he maintained. They stated that the appropriation of the bell pepper breached the corporation’s zero-tolerance rule when it approached deceit of any type, as well as theft or stealing of corporation property. On July 29, 2011, Nickel was dismissed. His attorney, Carney Shegerian, stated it signifies the biggest judgment of its type in county history, surpassing another in which he attained $21.6 million for another client.