United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Houston Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
F. ATLAS JUDGE.
the Court in this False Claims Act (“FCA”)
retaliation lawsuit is Plaintiff Karen Miniex's Proposal
for Final Judgment (“Motion for Final Judgment”
or “Motion”) [Doc. # 226]. Defendant Houston
Housing Authority (“HHA”) has responded,
Miniex replied. The Motion is now ripe for decision. Based
on the parties' briefing, pertinent matters of record,
and relevant legal authorities, the Court grants in
part and denies in part Miniex's Motion for
one of the nation's largest public housing authorities,
hired Miniex in March 2012 to serve as its general counsel.
Miniex served in that role until her employment was
terminated in December 2016 following a dispute with
HHA's president and CEO, Tory Gunsolley, over the proper
handling of a fraud investigation. Miniex sued HHA in
February 2017, alleging she was retaliated against and
ultimately fired for going outside the chain of command to
report her concerns about fraud in violation of 31 U.S.C.
March 21, 2019, a jury entered a verdict in Plaintiff
Miniex's favor on her FCA retaliation claim. Verdict Form
[Doc. # 233]. The jury assessed the following damages:
. Back pay: $370, 571.00;
. Front pay: $600, 000.00;
. Past pain and suffering, inconvenience,
mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment in life: $317, 750.00;
. Future pain and suffering, inconvenience,
mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment in life: $215, 000.00.
March 25, 2019, Miniex filed her Motion for Final Judgment,
requesting the Court enter final judgment against HHA in the
sum of $1, 938, 409.16, plus post-judgment interest,
attorney's fees, and costs.
March 26, 2019, HHA filed its Response, requesting the Court
enter final judgment against HHA only in the sum of $1, 388,
288.00. HHA also informed the Court that it will move for
judgment as a matter of law and a new trial after final
judgment is entered.
parties clash over the proper method to calculate
Miniex's back wages and whether she is entitled to the
noneconomic damages awarded by the jury. HHA does not dispute
the jury's assessment of $600, 000 in front pay or
Miniex's calculation of $46, 786.16 in interest on back
The Court concludes that the award to Miniex should include
$370, 571.00 in backpay, $46, 786.16 in interest on that back
pay, the statutory double back pay of $370, 571.00, $600,
000.00 in front pay, and $532, 750.00 for past and future
pain and suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, or loss of
enjoyment in life.