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Verdict reached in trial between Scripps, former employee

Posted at 10:23 PM, Feb 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-11 11:53:52-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A federal jury returned a verdict Friday in a trial involving Scripps Media, Inc. and former KSHB-TV reporter Lisa Benson.

Benson’s lawsuit, filed in December 2016, made four claims against Scripps, including two instances of retaliation and two instances of discrimination.

In the verdict, the jury sided with both Scripps and Benson in their ruling. The jury ruled in favor of Scripps in the two instances of discrimination. The jury ruled in favor of Benson in the two instances of retaliation. The jury awarded Benson a total of $201,000 as part of the decision.

After closing arguments on Friday morning and early Friday afternoon, the eight-person jury received the case and returned their verdict around 10 p.m. Friday after roughly eight hours of deliberation.

“As has been made clear during this trial, KSHB is committed to the highest standards of journalistic and organizational integrity," Scott McIntyre, an attorney representing Scripps, said in a statement. "While the station had hoped for a swift resolution of the claims, we appreciate that the jury affirmed our actions had nothing to do with race. We are confident that future litigation will continue to reinforce our commitment to diversity and inclusion."

Both sides presented arguments during the two week trial in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri at the Charles Evans Whittaker federal courthouse in downtown Kansas City, Missouri.

On Monday, Feb. 12, Dennis Egan, lead attorney for the plaintiff, told 41 Action News that Benson "feels very vindicated by the verdicts."

"The jury's verdict for retaliation rejected the defendant's arguments in court," Egan said.