A Jefferson Circuit Court jury has awarded $2.8 million to two former Kentucky Lottery employees who claimed they endured racial discrimination on the job.
Penny Diamond, the plaintiffs' attorney, said Ursella Riles and James Maddox claimed they were excluded from meetings and subjected to racial harassment while working in the lottery's marketing department.
The jury returned the verdict Monday night after a two-week trial.
Maddox was awarded $1.5million and Riles $1.3million.
In a statement, the Kentucky Lottery defended its record of hiring minorities and said it will meet with attorneys to discuss an appeal.
"We pride ourselves on treating our employees fairly," the statement said. "We disagree with the verdict that's been handed down, knowing that the Kentucky Lottery Corporation is an excellent place to work for individuals of all races, creeds and colors."
Riles began working for the lottery in 1989 and resigned in March 1998.
Maddox worked from April to December 1998 and was fired after complaining about the discrimination, Diamond said.
Diamond said a stream of witnesses testified that Riles and Maddox were subjected to racial epithets and left out of meetings.
In December 2002, a Paducah couple were awarded $4.3million in a lawsuit claiming they were wrongfully fired by the lottery because of disability discrimination.