On May 23, 2023, a trial team of R. Armen McOmber, Esq., Matthew A. Luber, Esq., Peter D. Valenzano, Esq. and Austin B. Tobin, Esq. from the law firm of McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. secured a $500,000 Jury Verdict.
The lawsuit was originally filed over six years ago in Middlesex County Superior Court on behalf of Plaintiffs, Hugh McCabe and his mother, Suzanne McCabe. Hugh, a former student in Monroe Township Public Schools, claimed he was subjected to homophobic slurs and anti-gay animus by another Monroe Township High School Student, which included a November 25, 2015 assault in the boy’s locker room that caused Hugh significant physical injuries. Hugh was also bullied based on the perception that he is gay and due to his membership in the school’s Gay Straight Alliance.
Following a two-week trial, the jury concluded that Hugh was subjected to years of discrimination on account of his perceived sexual orientation in violation of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“NJLAD”). The jury further concluded that the school was aware of the harassment, and that it was negligent by failing to prevent, correct, or remediate the discrimination. The jury awarded Hugh $400,000 in emotional distress damages and an additional $100,000 in damages for his physical injuries stemming from the assault. Hugh’s lawyers now anticipate filing an application to recover all of his attorneys’ fees, costs, and delay damages, as is permitted by the NJLAD.
“After six years of litigation, it only took the jury an hour or so to figure out that the Monroe Board of Education completely failed to protect students from egregious discrimination, bullying, and anti-gay animus in its schools. We are so proud of our client for standing up for himself, for civil rights, and, in particular, for having the courage and fortitude to hold the district accountable.” R. Armen McOmber, Esq., McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C.
“This is a great day for civil rights. To secure such a significant verdict in a perceived sexual orientation case is a big step in the right direction. The jury sent a clear message to schools and employers that anti-gay animus will not be tolerated.” Matthew A. Luber, Esq., McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C.