Story at a glance

  • David Duvall sued his former employer Novant Health, Inc. in 2019 after he was fired the previous year and replaced with a Black woman and a white woman.
  • Duvall claims he was wrongfully terminated for being a white male.
  • Novant Health Inc. said following the verdict it would pursue all legal options, including appeal.

A North Carolina jury awarded a $10 million verdict Tuesday to a man who alleged in a lawsuit that his former employer had fired him because he is a white man.

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The plaintiff, David Duvall of Michigan, sued Novant Health, Inc. in 2019 after he was fired from his job as the North Carolina healthcare provider’s senior vice president of marketing and communications in 2018, according to court documents.

Duval in the suit claimed his termination was unjust and was part of Novant Health’s “intentional campaign to promote diversity in its management ranks.” Duvall said he was replaced by a Black woman and a white woman.

He argued the company violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and North Carolina’s Equal Employment Practices Act. 


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The jury found that Duvall’s race or sex was a motivating factor in his termination.

Following the jury’s verdict, Novant Health said in a statement to NBC that it would “pursue all legal options, including appeal.” 

“We are extremely disappointed in the verdict, as we believe it is not supported by the evidence presented at trial, which includes our reason for Mr. Duvall's termination,” the statement read. 

Novant Health in court filings said Duval had been fired for subpar performance.

Duvall’s attorney told NBC Thursday that Duvall, who was hired by Novant Health in 2013, was fired just days before his fifth anniversary with the company, when he would have been entitled to a larger severance pay.

"The message is not to abandon diversity and inclusion, it's to do it legally," he said.

This isn’t the first time a white person has sued their former employer for wrongful termination based on their race or gender. Investment firm Franklin Templeton was sued earlier this year by a white woman who was fired in 2020 after a video of her yelling at a Black man in Central Park went viral. The woman, Amy Cooper, said in the suit that she had been discriminated against and was targeted for being a white woman.

Franklin Templeton has since moved to dismiss the case.


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Published on Oct 28, 2021