McMechan claims damages of $1.16 million in lawsuit against town
Fired town clerk seeks 20 years of future wages, benefits, and travel costs; asserts that town must pay off her $170K mortgage and pay $500K for emotional distress and damage to her reputation
Posted November 3, 2010
In a scheduling order filed August 1 in U.S. District Court, former Nunn Town Clerk Tori McMechan includes a computation of damages she claims she suffered as a result of being removed from office by the Board of Trustees of the Town of Nunn on February 4. The total damages asserted by McMechan and her Boulder attorney Mark Cohen come to the staggering sum of $1,162,532.00.
The alleged damages are summarized below:
|Lost wages (through the year 2030)||206,400.00|
|Lost benefits (through the year 2030)||52,800.00|
|Vehicle costs (to drive to Greeley or Fort Collins through the year 2030)||154,800.00|
|Driving time at $15.00 per hour (to Greeley or Fort Collins through the year 2030)||77,400.00|
|Cost of moving modular home out of Nunn||?|
|Attorney's fees and costs||?|
|"Damages available by statute"||?|
|Emotional distress/pain & suffering||250,000.00|
|Damage to reputation||250,000.00|
|Total damages claimed||$||1,162,532.00|
Here is the computation of damages excerpted from the court filing:
5. COMPUTATION OF DAMAGES
Plaintiff claims the following damages:
1. Economic damages.
a. Wages owed in the amount of $1,131.55.
b. Lost wages in an amount to be proven at trial, but believed to be at least $206,400.00. This figure was determined as follows. Ms. McMechan earned $15.00 per hour while employed by the Town. She believes, based on her familiarity with the job market in Nunn, that the most she could earn in Nunn right now is $9.00 or $10.00 per hour. Using the figure of $10.00 per hour, that results in a loss of $200.00 per 40-hour week. With 4.3 weeks per month, that is a loss of $860.00 month or $10,320.00 per year. But for the actions of Defendants, Ms. McMechan reasonably believes she would have been reappointed for consecutive terms and served at least another twenty years, resulting in a loss of $206,400.00. A prior Town Clerk served for decades, and the only written performance reports provided to Ms. McMechan by the Town were highly favorable. The history of the Town has been to reappoint the Town Clerk if she is doing a good job.
c. Lost future benefits. At the time of her termination Ms. McMechan was entitled to three weeks of paid vacation ($1,800.00 per year), one personal day per year ($120.00 per year), and 4 hours of sick pay per month ($720.00) per year. Multiplying those figures by twenty years results in an additional loss of $52,800.00.
d. Travel costs. The Town of Nunn is approximately 28 miles from Greeley and 32 miles from Fort Collins. Assuming, for sake of argument, that Ms. McMechan could find a job in Greeley or Fort Collins that would pay $15.00 per hour, she would incur expenses for gasoline and wear and tear on her vehicle. Using the figure of 60 miles (round trip) per day, that is 300 miles per week, 1,290 miles per month (using 4.3 weeks per month) and 15,480.00 miles per year. At 50 cents per mile, that is $7,740.00 per year, which amounts to $154,800.00 over twenty years.
e. Lost time. Assuming Ms. McMechan found employment in Greeley or Fort Collins at $15.00 per hour, she would spend a minimum of one hour each day driving to and from work – an inconvenience she would not have to suffer but for the actions of Defendants. That is 21.5 hours per month or 258 hours per year. At $15.00 per hour, that works out to $3,870.00 per year, and $77,400.00 over twenty years.
f. Moving expenses. If Ms. McMechan must move away from the Town of Nunn in order to find suitable employment and to avoid the hostile climate that Defendants have created in the Town of Nunn, she would like to move her modular home to a new location. To do this she would have to pay off the current loan on the home, which is approximately $170,000.00. She would also incur the actual cost of moving the home and her belongings. She believes there is no equity in her home.
g. Attorney’s fees and costs as allowed by law.
h. Damages available by statute.
i. Plaintiff reserves the right to seek exemplary damages.
Note: all of these calculations are subject to being revised as this case progresses, pending development of the case and input from experts.
2. Noneconomic damages:
a. Emotional distress / pain and suffering - $250,000.00.
b. Damage to Plaintiff’s reputation ‐ $250,000.00.
SCHEDULING ORDER - IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO - Civil Action No. 10-cv-01045-MSK-MJW - TORI McMECHAN Plaintiff, v. TOWN OF NUNN, BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE TOWN OF NUNN, and JENNY JOHNSON Defendants. August 1, 2010 (PDF 155 KB, 16 pages)