Therefore, the court finds that the plaintiff is entitled to recover back pay, including prejudgment interest, in the total amount of $ 163,959.
Plaintiff Davis also seeks reinstatement to his former position as claims examiner in defendant's Bodily Injury unit, or an equivalent position. The Third Circuit has pronounced that "reinstatement is the preferred remedy to avoid future lost earnings." Ellis v. Ringgold School Dist., 832 F.2d 27, 30 (3d Cir. 1987), citing Maxfield v. Sinclair Int'l, 766 F.2d 788, 796 (3d Cir. 1985), cert. denied, 474 U.S. 1057, 88 L. Ed. 2d 773, 106 S. Ct. 796 (1986). Reinstatement is "an obvious form of relief to make the plaintiff whole and to relieve the plaintiff of the effects of discrimination." Id. A reinstatement order lies within the discretion of the district court, and it should be considered when requested by the plaintiff and when circumstances warrant its award. Id., citing Garza v. Brownsville Indep. Sch. Dist., 700 F.2d 253 (5th Cir. 1983); accord, Nord v. United States, 758 F.2d 1462 (11th Cir. 1985); Taylor v. Teletype Corp., 648 F.2d 1129 (8th Cir. 1981), cert. denied, 454 U.S. 969, 70 L. Ed. 2d 386, 102 S. Ct. 515 (1981); see also, Bennun v. Rutgers State University, 941 F.2d 154, 157 (3d Cir. 1991), cert. denied, 502 U.S. 1066, 117 L. Ed. 2d 124, 112 S. Ct. 956 (1992) (affirming Title VII order for promotion and back pay).
There can be rare circumstances where the reinstatement remedy is not warranted, see Johnson v. Orr, 776 F.2d 75, 83-84 (3d Cir. 1985) (denying reinstatement where plaintiff no longer satisfied neutral statutory requirement), and Wallace v. Dunn Const. Co., Inc., 62 F.3d 374, 380 (11th Cir. 1995) (denying reinstatement where plaintiff's lies regarding narcotics convictions made her ineligible for employment).
The circumstances of this case clearly warrant immediate reinstatement, as plaintiff Davis remains fully ready, willing and able to resume his duties as a claims examiner. Happily, there is not an abiding animosity between plaintiff and his former employer, and each side has agreed that reinstatement would be an appropriate remedy in the event Title VII liability were found.
The court will order defendant to reinstate Mr. Davis to his previous position as claims examiner in defendant's Bodily Injury unit or a comparable position, at a salary of not less than the amount he otherwise would have earned in this position, determined above as $ 46,260, plus all benefits for an employee in that position today.
Finally, plaintiff qualifies as a prevailing party pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(k), which permits the court to award "a reasonable attorney's fee (including expert fees) as part of the costs."
The court will award such costs in this case, which shall also include the plaintiff's cost of trial transcripts which were obtained pursuant to the court's directive to facilitate factfinding and review.
For the reasons stated herein, the court finds that the plaintiff, Derek E. Davis, has proved he was terminated from his employment by defendant Rutgers Casualty Insurance Co., on account of his race, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a)(1). As a remedy, the court will order back pay including prejudgment interest in the amount of $ 163,959 and immediate reinstatement to the position of claims examiner in the defendant's Bodily Injury unit, or a substantially equivalent position, at a salary of not less than $ 46,260 plus all applicable benefits, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(g), together with an award of plaintiff's reasonable attorney's fees and costs, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(k).
The accompanying Judgment shall be entered.
May 6, 1997
JEROME B. SIMANDLE
U.S. District Judge
This case having been tried to the court without a jury on January 6 & 8, 1997; and
The court having entered its Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law on today's date;
IT IS this 6th day of May, 1997 hereby
ORDERED, ADJUDGED and DECREED that this Judgment be entered in favor of Plaintiff, Derek E. Davis, and against Defendant, Rutgers Casualty Insurance Co., in the amount of One Hundred Sixty-Three Thousand Nine Hundred Fifty-Nine Dollars ($ 163,959.00);
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, ADJUDGED and DECREED that Defendant, Rutgers Casualty Insurance Co., shall forthwith reinstate plaintiff Derek E. Davis, to the position of claims examiner in the Bodily Injury unit, or substantially equivalent position, at a salary of not less than $ 46,260 per annum plus all applicable benefits; and
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, ADJUDGED and DECREED that Plaintiff, Derek E. Davis, shall recover from Defendant, Rutgers Casualty Insurance Co., his reasonable attorney's fees and costs of suit, by making an appropriate application within fourteen (14) days hereof.
JEROME B. SIMANDLE
U.S. District Judge