North Carolina

October 31, 2021

Jury awards $10M to hospital exec who said he was fired for being a white man

A federal jury awarded former hospital executive David Duvall $10 million for allegedly being fired for being a white man.

Duvall’s lawsuit, filed against the North Carolina-based Novant Health, Inc., in 2019, claims that the company fired him from his role as senior vice president of marketing and communications “without warning and without explanation” because of his race and gender.

Duvall’s attorney, Luke Largess, argues in the documents that Duvall was fired “without warning or cause as part of an intentional campaign to promote diversity in its management ranks.”

The company denied the allegations in a written response, claiming that Duvall was terminated “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.”

According to court records, a federal jury found that Duvall’s race and sex were a motivating factor in Novant Health’s decision to terminate him.

Largess said he was “pleased” with the outcome but added that the lawsuit “was decidedly not a statement against diversity and inclusion programs.”

“The lawsuit was only about the need to run such programs lawfully,” Largess said. “We believe the punitive damages award was a strong message that an employer cannot just fire employees based on their race or gender to create opportunities to achieve diversity targets.”


Hospital Exec Who Said He Was Fired for Being a White Man Awarded $10M by Jury: ‘Disappointed,’ Says Company

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