From left to right: Attorney Sarah K. Austin, Attorney Gillian P. Jones, Attorney Ryan M. Schmitz, David Ako-Annan, Attorney Joseph P. Guzzardo, Attorney David G. Webbert
An all-white jury awarded a native of Ghana $3 million in compensatory and punitive damages after it determined that Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center discriminated against him on the basis of race when the organization fired him in 2019 as the practice manager of its Orono primary care location.
David Ako-Annan, 46, of Milfordsued EMMC in October 2019 alleging that a supervisor discriminated against him because he’s Black and male. The hospital denied discriminating against Ako-Annan and said that turnover at the Orono facility was high and he was not addressing concerns that had been expressed about his leadership there.
Ako-Annan was hired in June 2013 and fired in early April 2019, a day after he returned from visiting his ill mother in his native Ghana, according to testimony. He told jurors that he was the only Black and only male manager out of EMMC’s five primary care locations.
His conflicts with supervisor Donna Ashe began in 2017, a few months after she was hired. When Ako-Annan expressed concerns that he was being treated differently and unfairly compared to white female practice managers, Ashe said that she could not be prejudiced against him on the basis of race, because “I have a black foster child, so please don’t talk to me about discrimination,” his attorney, Ryan Schmitz of Augusta, told jurors in his opening statement.
Read the full Bangor Daily News article here.
Man who won $3m in racial discrimination suit will ‘give another chance to Maine’ – read the full Bangor Daily News articlehere.