Massachusetts Appeals Court Reinstates $195,000 in Emotional Distress Damages For Disability Discrimination


Recently, the Massachusetts Appeals Court reinstated an order of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (“MCAD”), requiring the City of Boston to pay $195,000 to Diana Sabella, a teacher in the Boston Public School system, for emotional distress she had suffered as a result of disability discrimination. In City of Boston v. Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, the Appeals Court recognized that the amount of the award was high but ruled that substantial evidence supported the damages. While prior court decisions had sought to curb runaway emotional distress awards by the MCAD, the decision suggests that Massachusetts courts may be shifting away from scrutinizing such damages.

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