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Monday, June 10, 2013
A black janitor who accused his supervisors at Carilion Clinic of race-based employment discrimination, and who reported seeing a noose and shackles on the job, has settled the matter for undisclosed terms.
Some of the allegations by Vernell Coles of Roanoke survived Carilion's initial legal challenge and the parties were in pre-trial discovery when they announced a settlement June 6 in U.S. District Court in Roanoke.
Terry Grimes, Coles' lawyer, said both parties agreed to settle the case on confidential terms.
Coles, who filed suit in November 2011, has since resigned his maintenance position at Carilion and is looking for other work, though he is near retirement age, Grimes said.
Carilion Clinic attorney Agnis Chakravorty confirmed that a confidential settlement was reached.
Vernell's suit said he experienced a "racially hostile and offensive work environment" during his 15 years of employment at the health system. Coles was denied promotions, ordered to perform degrading work assignments, called a n----- and a drug dealer and "subjected to the display of shackles and a noose in the workplace as well as references to the Ku Klux Klan and the lynching of a black man ... [and] racial remarks concerning the current president of the United States," his lawsuit said.
Carilion denied the allegations in a written response.
Judge Glen Conrad dismissed the lawsuit upon word of the settlement.
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