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Financial Planning > Behavioral Finance

High Court To Review Age Case

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The U.S. Supreme Court says it will review an appeals court decision involving a suit by a man who has accused a financial services company of age discrimination.

The court has granted a writ of certiorari to the parties involved in Jack Gross vs. FBL Financial Services Inc. and also has permitted the National Employment Lawyers Association, San Francisco, to file a brief commenting on the case.

Jack Gross, the plaintiff in the case, was born in 1948. He began working for the defendant in the case, FBL Financial Group Inc., West Des Moines, Iowa, in 1987. In 1999, he became claims administration vice president. In 2001, he became claims administration director. In 2003, he became claims project coordinator, and some of his duties were assigned to a younger worker, according to a summary of the case included in an opinion prepared by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Gross sued in April 2004, contending that the shift amounted to an age-related demotion.

A jury ruled in favor of Gross.

FBL appealed, contending that the court had incorrectly overruled FBL objections about the jury instructions and had erred by excluding testimony from an FBL executive about Gross’s performance.

Gross appealed a trial court order denying him attorney’s fees.

In May 2008, a 3-judge appeals court panel concluded that the jury instructions were flawed and ordered a new trial.


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