Attorney: Judge orders Lufkin Industries to pay $5 million in lawsuit

Published: Jun. 24, 2009 at 5:03 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 25, 2009 at 2:10 AM CDT
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By Jeff Awtrey - email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A federal district court judge ordered Lufkin Industries Monday to pay what the plaintiff's attorney estimates to be $3.1 million plus 5-percent interest as a result of a class-action discrimination lawsuit.

The order was a result of an appeal to a decision in McClain v. Lufkin Indus, Inc. in 2005 which found Lufkin Industries had discriminated unlawfully.

Attorney Tim Garrigan estimates Lufkin Industries will pay about $5 million after interest, pending any further appeals.

"I feel very good about it," Garrigan said. "It's a fairly modest award. The amount of backpay was very conservatively calculated in 2005 but this court has clarified it and has covered the broadest possible period."

Garrigan said the initial plaintiffs in the case are Buford Thomas and Sylvester McClain, plus 13 class-action plaintiffs and about 900 class-action members. He said it has not yet been determined how the award money will be shared.

Sylvester McClain said, "I'm extremely elated, this is the victory for all Afro-American, it's victory for all people white, hsipanic, and black that work at Lufkin Industries, because it levels the playing field, this is about equal opportunity, equal treatment."

Lufkin Industries Vice President Paul Perez said he could not comment on the decision as the company reviews the decision.

On top of that, both parties have been ordered to file a brief outlining its claim that Lufkin Industries is liable for hourly promotion discrimination from 2005-2007.

Specifically, Clark orders Lufkin Industries pay the following amounts for lost hourly promotions:

1994-95: $483,340

1996-2002: $1,901,417

2003-2004: $487,756

Lufkin Industries also must pay the following for lost salaried promotions:

1994-95: $109,868

1996-2002: $128,055