Three former Philadelphia prosecutors, Mark Gilson, Marc Costanzo, and Joseph Whitehead settled their claims against the city for $400,000 each, for a total of $1.2 million, with the assistance of their attorneys, Sidney L. Gold of Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. in Philadelphia, and Robert Davitch of Sidkoff, Pincus & Green. A fourth plaintiff and longtime prosecutor, Carlos Vega, is taking his case to trial. It is listed on the court’s trial calendar for early November.
In 2018, Sid Gold and Robert Davitch filed a lawsuit in Federal Court against the City of Philadelphia and District Attorney Larry Krasner on behalf of their clients, who were fired shortly after Krasner took over the office. The lawsuit alleged that the plaintiffs, all top prosecutors, were fired because of their ages. Attorneys for the plaintiffs supported these allegations with a series of public comments made by Krasner that not only revealed his personal hostility toward older prosecutors, but also his preference for younger attorneys with less experience. The lawsuit documents specifically highlighted that their clients were replaced by or had their responsibilities assigned to younger and less qualified prosecutors. Plaintiffs were in their late 50’s and early 60’s when they were fired from their jobs at the DA’s office, and just three of 31 staff members fired by Krasner in his first week in office.
Sid Gold and Robert Davitch asserted on behalf of their clients that the seasoned prosecutors who had been with the DA’s Office for decades were given no explanation for being forced out and terminated, nor did Krasner ever contact or meet with them to provide his reasons. In his argument, defendant Krasner claimed that he had enough information from his experience working opposite the former prosecutors to determine that they would not fit it with the office’s new outlook on criminal justice.
The judge denied summary judgment for the defendants in the fall of 2021, stating that the plaintiffs had provided enough evidence to allow their age discrimination claims to go forward. Trials had been set to start in October, until the favorable settlement was reached for the three former prosecutors.
If you believe you are the victim of age discrimination at your place of work, the Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. will fight for your rights and ensure that full and fair compensation if obtained. Call us today at 215-569-1999 or contact us online. We serve clients in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York.