White firefighters who won a race-discrimination case before the Supreme Court in 2009 will receive about $2 million in damages from the City of New Haven, officials said Thursday. The settlement helps end a seven-year-long legal battle that propelled national debate over racial justice.
The Supreme Court ruled that officials had violated white firefighters’ civil rights when they threw out the results of promotion tests in 2003 because too few minority applicants did well. After that ruling, the case went back to United States District Court in Connecticut, where the firefighters sought back pay, damages and legal fees.
Lawyers for the city said on Thursday that the firefighters would receive about $2 million total and that the city would pay their lawyers’ fees and costs of about $3 million.