A marketing vice president has been awarded a $10 million “reverse discrimination” payout after a hospital fired him for being a white male.
- In 2018, North Carolina hospital fired a white male and replaced him with two women, one of whom is black.
- David Duvall, the dismissed VP, sued Novant Health for $10 million after proving they fired him based on “reverse discrimination.”
- According to Duvall’s lawyers, his termination was part of the hospital’s efforts to boost diversity.
David Duvall, former Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Novant Health, sued the North Carolina hospital after they fired him to hire two women in his place, one of whom is black, Daily Mail reports.
The marketing VP says they terminated him just days before reaching his five-year work anniversary in 2018. If he had reached this milestone, he would have been awarded a higher severance payout than what he was given.
Duvall was replaced by two women – Kate Everett, a white woman who had worked with him and was promoted to take the role of Chief PR and Communications Officer, and Vicky Free, a black woman who was given the role of Chief Marketing Officer.
Although the man admitted both women were qualified for the job, he insisted they were no more capable than he was.
Duvall’s lawyers said he was fired “out of the clear blue sky” because he was a white man. According to the attorneys, this was a part of the hospital’s five-year plan to boost diversity.
What’s more, it turned out Duvall was not the only white executive fired from their positions. In his complaint, the VP stated that the Chief Legal Officer, Medical Group President, Chief Information Officer, Patient Experience Officer, and President of Haymarket Medical Center were all replaced either by a black person or a woman in the 12-18 months after him.
On Tuesday, October 26, the jury ruled that he should receive $10 million in a reverse discrimination payout.
“Without prior warning, and without any explanation as to why that promised ‘normal circumstances’ did not apply, Novant terminated me on July 30, 2018, and ordered him off the premises immediately, five days before his fifth work anniversary.
Jesse Cureton notified Plaintiff of this decision and offered no explanation for it, stating the decision had nothing to do with my performance, that I had done everything asked of him and more.”
The hospital denied the allegations, claiming Duvall was fired for other reasons.
In 2019, Novant’s initial response to the accusations was that the ex-marketing VP was fired “due to his deficient performance, including his inability to communicate effectively before a group and the delegation of the critical duties of his position to his subordinates.”
However, Duvall told the jury that he regularly received great reviews from his superiors and that his team was always rated highly for their performance.
In an official statement to Daily Mail, the hospital said:
“We are extremely disappointed with the verdict as we believe it is not supported by the evidence presented at trial, which includes our reason for Mr. Duvall’s termination. We will pursue all legal options, including appeal, over the next several weeks and months.
Novant Health is one of thousands of organizations to put in place robust diversity and inclusion programs, which we believe can co-exist alongside strong non-discriminatory policies that extend to all races and genders, including white men.
It’s important for all current and future team members to know that this verdict will not change Novant Health’s steadfast commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity for all.”
Contrarily, Duvall’s attorney, Luke Largess, commented:
“The case is about the fact that you cannot fire people just to create opportunities to fill positions. It is not a case against Diversity and Inclusion.”