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Saginaw woman wins $500,000 in age discrimination suit against Covenant HealthCare

 Denise Doster
Denise Doster (WJRT)
Published: Feb. 1, 2019 at 6:31 PM EST
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(2/1/2019) - A Saginaw woman has been awarded more than a half million dollars in an age discrimination lawsuit.

Denise Doster worked for Covenant HealthCare for more than two decades, but she didn't get a human resource job she coveted. She sued and on Friday a jury ruled she was discriminated against because of her age.

"I prayed to win, but to actually hear them say yes, and when they started adding on figures and numbers, it's like, 'Oh my goodness, this is a big win,'" Doster said.

She said she loved working at Covenant.

"It wasn't just a job, it was my second home," Doster said.

But in November of 2016, Doster got bad news from that second home. A human resource generalist position she applied and interviewed for went to a someone else with less experience.

She had worked at Covenant for 27 years.

"He's external, he has three years and he's young," Doster said. "He's younger than me -- way younger than me."

Doster was 62 at the time and, while she continued to work at Covenant, she resigned a short time later.

"The hurt, the hurt. I can't tell you how I hurt," she said.

She hired the Mastromarco Law Firm and filed an age discrimination lawsuit against Covenant.

"I had seen it happen to others and it's a small percentage that it does happen, but when it happens to you, that small percentage just went from whatever number to 100 percent because it's you," Doster said.

The trial lasted for about five days.

"You have to show different things that they did that were unreasonable," attorney Victor Mastromarco said.

In the end, the eight-person jury sided with Doster, awarding her more than $540,000. Attorney fees may be added to the amount.

"Just hearing the word yes was really emotional for me," she said. "I felt I won. They listened to me. I knew these guys (her attorneys) listened to me, but other people heard my story and listened to me."

Covenant released a statement Friday afternoon, saying it is disappointed in the outcome of this case. There are several issues which they plan to appeal.

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