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Lubbock City Council Approves Settlement in Martha Ellerbrook Lawsuit

Beane -

A longstanding lawsuit against the City of Lubbock has been settled.

The Lubbock City Council approved a $575,000 settlement to former City employee Martha Ellerbrook in her discrimination case against the City.

Ellerbrook was not chosen for a promotion amidst another lawsuit between her husband Terry Ellerbrook and the City in February of 2007.

The $575,000 includes Ellerbrook’s attorney fees. So far, the City has spent $751,000 on the settlement and outside counsel fees in this case.

The attorney representing the City estimated that if the City were to allow the case to go back to court, they would likely be required to pay up to $750,000 to Ellerbrook.

A jury originally awarded Ellerbrook almost $250,000, but U.S. District Judge Sam Cummings ruled in the City’s favor in their appeal. A U.S. District Court of Appeals overturned Judge Cummings’ ruling, and instructed the District Court to enter a new judgment for Ellerbrook to cover her attorney’s fees and all costs of the latest appeal.

The Council approved the settlement 5-1, District 4 Councilman Paul R. Beane dissenting, and District 5 Councilwoman Karen Gibson absent.

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