LOS ANGELES, Calif. – A judge has overturned an $8.5 million verdict awarded to a former “Price is Right” model in a pregnancy discrimination case and ruled a new trial is necessary.
Judge Kevin Brazile ruled Tuesday that he didn’t properly instruct the jury that ultimately came to a 9-3 decision in Brandi Cochran’s favour last year, City News Service reported. He based his ruling on new legal guidance from the state’s Supreme Court.
Cochran convinced jurors that the show’s producers discriminated against her after she became pregnant and they refused to allow her to return to the show.
Her attorney, Carney Shegerian, said Wednesday that Brazile’s ruling was proper and he expects the damages to go higher in the case.
“I think on re-trial I’ll get triple or quadruple that,” he said.
Brazile determined he should have instructed the jury to decide whether pregnancy discrimination was a substantial factor in the producers’ decision to keep Cochran from rejoining the cast after her child was born. He cited the divided verdict as a factor warranting a new trial, which will likely occur later this year.
A spokesman for show producers FremantleMedia declined to comment on the ruling.