An Arab-American woman who sought at least $150,000 in a discrimination lawsuit filed after she was ordered off a bus for eating a Snickers bar has settled for $10,000, most of which will go to charity.
Jamila Glauber's case was scheduled to go to trial in Juneau Superior Court on Monday. But in late September, Judge Patricia Collins dismissed the case after attorneys agreed to the settlement.
Reached at her home Monday, Glauber said she would say nothing about the case. She referred questions to her attorney, Jay W. Trumble, who has moved his practice from Anchorage to Vancouver, Wash., since the suit was filed in July 2003. A telephone call to Trumble's office Monday was not returned.
Glauber claimed she was told to leave a Capital Transit bus on March 22, 2002, after eating a bite-size candy bar in violation of a no-eating policy. She said she feared for her safety and the safety of her son when attempting to use public transportation. Trumble claimed the bus driver's actions - including allegedly stopping the bus and keeping her on it until police arrived - were based on her race and caused her severe emotional distress.
"The city admits no wrongdoing in the case," City AttorneyJohn Hartle said Tuesday.
The city's insurance company arranged the settlement for less than it would have cost to take it to trial, he said. The cost is below the insurer's deductible and will come out of the city's risk-management fund, he said.
Hartle said Tuesday that Glauber designated one-third of the settlement to pay her attorney and the remainder to go to charities, including a college fund for a member of her family.
The city also agreed to post a notice on each of its buses, stating that the transit company does not discriminate. Hartle said it has been city policy not to discriminate.
The suit sought "in excess of $50,000" from each of the three defendants - the city, the city's bus company and bus driver Tad Zurek - with actual damages to be proven at trial.
Glauber claimed she twice refused to leave the bus and the driver called police. At the Nugget Mall police asked the driver to continue to let her ride, according to her account at the time.
Trumble said Glauber was protected from such actions under the Alaska Human Rights Act.
Hartle wrote in response to the suit that Zurek did not discriminate against Glauber. Eating on the bus was clearly prohibited, the response noted.
The "alleged damages were caused in whole or part by plaintiff's own action," Hartle wrote. He also argued that the court lacks jurisdiction in the case, and that the law gives the defendants immunity from such claims.
The city hired Juneau attorney Deborah Holbrook to carry out the litigation. Hartle commended her work in reaching the settlement.
The largest designated recipient from the settlement was the Zachary Rashid Glauber College Fund, getting $3,666, Hartle said. Also, $3,333 was designated for Trumble, $1,000 to the Juneau AWARE Shelter, $1,000 Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School Hockey Club and $1,000 to the Mary Help of Christians Parish in Yemen.
Tony Carroll can be reached at email@example.com.
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