Major Cases

For more than 40 years O'Brien Law has achieved outstanding, precedent-setting results for its clients. Our cases have included:

Robertson v. Hunter Panels, et al (Employment – Gender Discrimination, Retaliation): O’Brien Law, partnering with attorneys from Stember Cohn Davison-Welling, obtained a $13.4 million dollar jury verdict on behalf of our client, Sandra Robertson. Ms. Robertson--who was the only woman supervisor at Hunter's Smithfield Pennsylvania plant--contended that she was subjected to a hostile work environment, discriminated against because of her gender, and then retaliated against when she complained. This is believed to be the largest verdict ever entered in an employment discrimination case in the Western District of Pennsylvania.
Retired VA Nurses v. OPM (Employment - Pension Benefits - Class Action): Multimillion dollar recovery on behalf of retired VA nurses. In this case O'Brien Law co-counselled a nationwide claim in which retired VA nurses had been deprived of their full pension benefits even though promised to them by Congress over 20 years earlier. While law firms throughout the country turned them down, O'Brien Law took on the cause of these deserving plaintiffs, obtaining a resounding victory in which OPM was required to recalculate and award the nurses their rightful pension benefits.

Benjamin v. Nalco: (Fair Housing - Race Discrimination): Largest private fair housing discrimination settlement in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In this case, O'Brien Law secured class certification and obtained a $1,000,000.00 + settlement on behalf of a class of African-American plaintiffs who claimed that they were discriminated against by one of the largest private landlords in Western Pennsylvania. This case sent a clear signal to private landlords throughout Pennsylvania that discriminating against citizens on the basis of race would not be tolerated.

Williams v. City of Pittsburgh (Civil Rights - Police Abuse - Class Action): In this case, O'Brien Law was lead counsel in the first of its kind class action alleging widespread police abuse brought against a major metropolitan police department. This case resulted in a precedent setting federal
consent decree and the recovery of hundreds of thousands of dollars on behalf of individual citizens injured by police abuse. The consent decree has served as a model for other cities throughout the country, including, Los Angeles, Seattle, and New Orleans;
McNeilly v. City of Pittsburgh (Government Employment - First Amendment Retaliation): O’Brien Law has been in the forefront of protecting public employees from retaliation on account of protected speech under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. In this case, O’Brien Law, along with the ACLU of Western Pennsylvania, successfully represented a City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Police Commander “whistleblower” who was demoted after reporting corruption at the highest levels of city government. After hearing, Chief Judge Donetta Ambrose (US Dist. Ct. Western District of Pennsylvania) enjoined the defendants from retaliating against the Commander ordering her immediate reinstatement. This case has set the standard for “stopping in their tracks” corrupt officials who retaliate against honest hard-working employees.

Kenney v. City of Pittsburgh (Civil Rights - Police Abuse): A jury awarded our client $105,000 in compensatory and punitive damages for injuries his suffered at the hands of two City of Pittsburgh Police officers. Anthony Kenney was handcuffed and beaten by a plain clothes police officer, while his partner watched without intervening. A witness substantiated Mr. Kenney’s account of the incident, while the officers claimed that his injuries resulted from a fall and that no excessive force was used. After a two day trial handled by attorney Maggie Coleman, a jury found in favor of Mr. Kenney and awarded him $5000 in compensatory damages and $100,000 in punitive damages.

Zbozny v. City of Pittsburgh (Employment - Disability Discrimination): In this disability discrimination case, Plaintiff, a legally blind Pittsburgh Public Schools teacher, claimed that the school district failed to reasonably accommodate his disability. After a three week bench trial, handled by Attorney Maggie Coleman, a state court judge determined that the district had engaged in illegal discrimination.

Marzaras Gjin v. Family Dollar (Employment - Wage Payment): This pending case, filed on behalf of several current and former employees of Family Dollar Stores, alleges that Family Dollar misclassified them as exempt from Pennsylvania’s overtime pay requirements, resulting in the loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars in overtime pay. Pennsylvania law requires that employees receive “time and a half” compensation for hours worked in excess of 40 per week. The law provides an exception for some managerial employees. The Plaintiffs in this suit, although titled “managers,” had virtually no managerial responsibilities and performed essentially the same duties as other, non-manager employees. All of the plaintiffs worked far in excess of 40 hours per week and many worked upwards of 80 hours per week. They received no additional compensation for this work. The suit contends that this violated Plaintiffs’ rights under the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act, the Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection Law and the common law doctrine of unjust enrichment. These laws protect Pennsylvania employees from abusive actions by their employers and help ensure that employees are fairly compensated for their work. This lawsuit was brought to redress violations of this law and ensure that Plaintiffs receive the compensation to which they are legally entitled.
Moreno v. City of Pittsburgh (Civil Rights - Police Abuse - SWAT Raid): This ground breaking case challenged the militarization of the City of Pittsburgh Police Force on behalf of our clients whose home was forcibly invaded by 23 SWAT officers and 9 detectives after one member of the household was seen on video assaulting an off duty police officer in an after-hours club. The assailant was immediately identified and taken into custody. However, the raid continued and the entire family was interrogated while in handcuffs and surrounded by masked officers with assault rifles. We alleged that the show of force by the City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Police was excessive and retaliatory and that the questioning of the family members under these circumstances violated their Fourth Amendment rights. We settled this case on the eve of trial for $100,000.
Vicente v. Wetzel, et al (Civil Rights - Prisoner Rights): O'Brien Law filed suit on behalf of a former Pennsylvania Department of Corrections inmate who was held for nine months after his sentence expired. He made numerous attempts to correct the error, which were ignored by DOC officials. Immediately after his release, the DOC provided him with paperwork confirming that he should have been released nine months earlier.

Pardini v. Allegheny County (Civil Rights - Prison Abuse): O’Brien Law secured an out of court settlement for a man who’s arm was broken by two corrections officers while he was in the intake unit of the Allegheny County Jail.

Contact our law firm in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to discuss your personal injury or discrimination case.