Appeals court tosses out $375,000 award to state trooper denied extended leave

November 08, 2001|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

A federal appeals court threw out yesterday a $375,000 jury award to a Maryland State Police flight paramedic and ordered a new trial to determine the damages owed to him after he was denied extended parental leave when his wife became pregnant.

Howard Kevin Knussman, 44, was awarded the damages in 1999 based on evidence that the state police discriminated against him and violated the federal Family and Medical Leave Act by denying him leave to care for his newborn daughter because he is a man.

Knussman, who retired two years ago after 23 years on the force, said he considers the ruling by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., a victory because it also affirmed that the state police violated his rights.

"The jury award was set aside, but what the jury said was not set aside," said Knussman, of Easton.

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