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Jury orders San Francisco Marriott Marquis to pay $20 million in disability lawsuit

PIX Now Afternoon Edition 9-22-23
PIX Now Afternoon Edition 9-22-23 06:01

SAN FRANCISCO - The Marriott Marquis hotel in San Francisco is on the hook for $20 million after a jury found it failed to accommodate an employee's disability. 

After a 13-day trial in San Francisco Superior Court, the jury on Tuesday found hotel managers failed to make reasonable accommodations for the disability of Daniel Callahan, a long-time concierge, and also failed to participate in a timely, good-faith process to determine if such accommodations could be made.

"This intelligent, diligent and hard-working jury saw through Marriott's bogus attacks on Mr. Callahan, who was a great employee for decades," said Callahan's lawyer David deRubertis.

Callahan worked for the hotel for nearly 30 years, even after suffering a spinal cord injury in 2014 that required him to use a cane and prosthetic device, according to his lawsuit.

For a few years, he was able to assist hotel guests while alternating between sitting and standing at his workstation, but was unable to do so following a 2019 renovation project that altered the area, according to the suit.

Callahan made repeated unsuccessful attempts to get hotel managers to address the problem but finally left the job in September 2019 after his doctors determined it was no longer medically possible for him to stay on the job without changes to his work area.
The jury awarded Callahan $5 million in pain and suffering damages and $15 million in punitive damages.

Lawyers for Marriott didn't immediately return a request for comment. 

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