District settles Hunter lawsuit for $1.75 million
Related Links

Schwartz responds on Hunter settlement and Human Rights Act 08/21/00

Statement by Margie Hunter on lawsuit settlement 08/10/00

GLAA statement: After five long years, victory in Tyra Hunter case 08/10/00

GLAA to Corporation Counsel: Stop Undermining Human Rights Act 06/07/00

Summersgill reviews Corporation Counsel homophobia at Rigsby nomination hearing 01/06/00

Rosendall writes Metro Weekly on Tyra Hunter case 08/15/99

Rep. Barney Frank writes Mayor Williams on Tyra Hunter 06/29/99

GLAA submits Tyra Hunter petitions to Mayor Williams 06/21/99

Petition to Mayor Williams on Tyra Hunter case 05/29/99

GLAA flyer urges protests to Mayor on Tyra Hunter case 05/27/99

Community leaders urge Mayor to settle Hunter case 05/26/99

Margie Hunter, attorney Rick Silber honored at GLAA 28th Anniversary Reception 04/22/99

Hunter attorneys respond to city's posttrial motion to dismiss 03/25/99

GLAA focuses on Tyra Hunter case at oversight hearing 02/09/99

Rosendall to Williams & Ferren: drop Hunter case 12/29/98

Victory in Tyra Hunter case 12/11/98

Dana Priesing reports on Tyra Hunter wrongful death trial 12/15/98

Training Handout on Transgendered Persons [for police, etc.] (March 1998)

GLAA describes efforts with Corporation Counsel

DC govt. withdraws First Amendment argument in Tyra Hunter case (2/6/98)

Corp. Counsel withdraws assault on Human Rights Law (1/30/98)

Gays denounce govt. action in Tyra Hunter case (1/27/98)

GLOV Report Targets DC Fire Chief (8/28/96)

Text of report: Homophobia in the District of Columbia Fire Department (8/28/96)


[Note: The following press release was jointly approved by the D.C. Office of the Corporation Counsel and attorneys for Margie Hunter.]

Thursday, August 10, 2000

Mayor Anthony A. Williams and District of Columbia Corporation Counsel Robert Rigsby announced today that the District of Columbia has settled the case Margie Hunter v. District of Columbia, et al., Civil Action No. 96-1338, for $1.75 million. In announcing the settlement, Mayor Williams said, "discrimination by officials or employees of any agency of the District of Columbia Government based on race, gender or sexual orientation, of the nature alleged in this case, will not be tolerated."

This case arose from the death of Tyra Hunter, a transgendered hairdresser, on August 7, 1995.

In February, 1996, Tyra Hunter's mother, Margie Hunter, filed suit in D.C. Superior Court against the District of Columbia, a city firefighter and a D.C. General Hospital physician. Mrs. Hunter alleged that the D.C. Fire Department personnel called to the scene of a car accident involving Tyra made derogatory comments about Tyra's personal appearance and withdrew emergency medical treatment. Mrs. Hunter also charged that Tyra died as a result of medical negligence while, or after being treated at D.C. General Hospital.

On December 11, 1998, after a five-week trial, the jury awarded Margie Hunter approximately $2.9 million in damages. The jury determined that D.C. Fire Department employees violated the D.C. Human Rights law, and that Tyra Hunter's death was caused by medical malpractice at D.C. General. Shortly thereafter, the District challenged the jury's verdict in a post-trial motion, which was still pending at the time of the settlement.

Given the size of the verdict and the amount of interest accruing on it, and the sizeable claims for attorneys' fees that were pending, the parties agreed that a resolution of the matter for approximately $1.75M was fair, and would bring closure to this matter for Ms. Hunter and the city. Mayor Williams used this occasion to reemphasize the District's zero tolerance policy for discriminatory acts by any of its employees, by joining with the D.C. Fire Department to name its diversity and sensitivity training program after the decedent, Tyra Hunter.