- David Duvall sued Novant Health in 2019, saying he was fired in 2018 to boost diversity.
- Novant said it fired him because his performance was subpar.
- On Tuesday, a North Carolina jury awarded Duvall $10 million in damages.
A white male marketing executive who said he was fired because of his sex and race has been awarded $10 million in damages by a North Carolina jury, per court documents seen by Insider.
David Duvall was appointed senior vice president of marketing and communications at the nonprofit health system Novant Health in August 2013, and was abruptly fired and led from the premises on July 30, 2018, said his complaint, which was filed in 2019.
The company then hired a white woman and a Black woman in his place, his complaint said, claiming that the change was made “for the express purpose of increasing gender and racial diversity among Novant executives.”
In the complaint, attorneys for Duvall said it amounted to discrimination.
“Defendant’s termination of Plaintiff on account of his race and sex directly violated this express public policy of the State of North Carolina. Thus, the termination of Plaintiff was wrongful and unlawful under state law,” the complaint said.
A North Carolina jury assessing the case awarded $10 million in damages on Tuesday.
Duvall’s “race (Caucasian) and/or his sex (male) was a motivating factor in Novant Health’s decision to terminate him,” the jury said, according to the court documents.
Novant Health has repeatedly denied firing Duvall for diversity reasons. In court filings, the company said it fired Duvall because his performance was subpar.
“We are extremely disappointed in the verdict, as we believe it is not supported by the evidence presented at trial, which includes our reason for Mr. Duvall’s termination,” a Novant Health spokesperson told NBC News.
“We will pursue all legal options, including appeal.”
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