Claiming damages for alleged unlawful discrimination

Claiming damages for alleged unlawful discrimination DiLauria v Town of Harrison, 32 AD3d 490 A police officer brought two lawsuits against the Town of Harrison in an effort to recover damages for alleged unlawful discrimination based upon disability. The first was an Article 78 action for "economic benefits derivable from his status as a police officer" that DiLauria claimed he had lost. DiLauria's second action sought damages resulting from the termination of his employment as a police officer for alleged unlawful discrimination under the New York State Human Rights Law (Executive Law Article 15). The Town argued that DiLauria's second lawsuit was barred by the doctrine of Collateral Estoppel. The Appellate Division said that because the issues concerning the damages recoverable under the Human Rights Law — economic loss and emotional distress — were not actually litigated in the prior Article 78 proceeding, DeLauria could not be collaterally estopped from litigating these claims in his second action. The court noted that restoration of any economic benefits he lost in connection with his employment as a police officer was the only monetary relief that was available in his prior CPLR article 78 proceeding, citing Civil Service Law ยง77. In contrast, in his second lawsuit, DiLauria was seeking damages for economic loss and emotional distress available under the State's Human Rights Law he claimed he suffered because of the Town's alleged discriminatory action.

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