Judge orders $5 million to be paid in lawsuit

By Jeff Awtrey - email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A federal district court judge ordered Lufkin Industries Monday to pay what the plaintiff's attorney estimates to be $3.1 million plus 5% interest as a result of a class-action discrimination lawsuit.

The order was a result of an appeal to a decision in McClain v. Lufkin Indus, Inc. in 2005 which found Lufkin Industries had discriminated unlawfully.

Attorney Tim Garrigan estimates Lufkin Industries will pay about $5 million after interest, pending any further appeals.

"I feel very good about it," Garrigan said. "It's a fairly modest award. The amount of back pay was very conservatively calculated in 2005 but this court has clarified it and has covered the broadest possible period."

Garrigan said the initial plaintiffs in the case are Buford Thomas and Sylvester McClain, plus 13 class-action plaintiffs and about 900 class-action members. He said it has not yet been determined how the award money will be shared.

Lufkin Industries Vice President Paul Perez said he could not comment on the decision as the company reviews the decision.

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