$22,000 doesn’t buy you a whole lot in litigation land. It’s not enough to take a case through trial, or even to trial. Depending on the case, it might be enough to take some discovery. If your case has a lot of motion practice, it might not even get you any discovery at all. In litigation land, $22,000 is called cost-of-defense, or, better yet, nuisance value. For this reason, I question the EEOC’s decision to boast in a press release on its website that it has settled a retaliation lawsuit for that very number. I know that the EEOC serves a purpose higher than dollars and cents, but it doesn’t make any sense to publicly brag about your nuisance value settlement … unless you happen to be the employer bragging about how you hooked some naive plaintiff on a lowball settlement.
[Hat tip: LawMemo Employment Law Blog]