as part of the compensatory damages of $ 85,000 suffered by plaintiff Probst during the year 1992.
Government counsel conceded in closing argument that the law recognizes that an individual may bring a claim for retaliation by a defendant that proximately resulted from the protected actions or expressions of a relative of the individual. See EEOC v. Ohio Edison Co., 7 F.3d 541, 544 (6th Cir. 1993) (citing De Medina v. Reinhardt, 444 F. Supp. 573 (D.D.C. 1978), aff'd in part and remanded in part, 686 F.2d 997, 222 U.S. App. D.C. 371 (D.C. Cir. 1981). Accepting that as the law it would seem reasonable and within the scope of the Civil Rights Act of 1991 that a plaintiff, who is the expressor, should be allowed to recover compensatory damages, such as emotional pain and mental anguish, suffered by the plaintiff from actions taken by defendants against a loved-one of the plaintiff, such as a spouse, in retaliation for the plaintiff's expression, especially were the evidence shows the retaliation was intended by defendants to cause emotional pain and mental anguish to the plaintiff. Neither counsel nor the court could locate a published opinion on point which supports or undermines this determination in this unprecedented situation.
The court notes that during the testimony of plaintiff's spouse, Ms. Bilaisis, the court expressly ordered Ms. Bilaisis to separate from her own emotional harm that which she observed was suffered by plaintiff. The court in viewing her demeanor and listening to Ms. Bilaisis' testimony finds that she did just that. The court made that order to ensure that Ms. Bilaisis was not testifying about harm to herself, but only about harm to plaintiff that she personally observed. This is because, as this court previously held, plaintiff cannot recover for any harm suffered by his spouse. (Mem. Op. Oct. 6, 1995.)
The court finds that the DOJ/OPR investigation of plaintiff's spouse was an act of intentional unlawful retaliation by defendants against plaintiff for his speaking out against racial discrimination in the DEA and as a proximate result of that act suffered emotional pain and mental anguish in the amount of $ 30,000 for that act of retaliation in addition to the other compensatory damages he suffered.
For the reasons and on the bases stated herein, the court finds in favor of the plaintiff and against the defendants on liability and damages. The court further finds that plaintiff has proven by a Preponderance of the evidence that he suffered compensatory damages in the amount of $ 180,000 in addition to the other damages upon which the parties have previously agreed. Plaintiff is entitled to costs and reasonable attorney fees. Judgment is entered accordingly. All pending motions are moot.
JAMES F. HOLDERMAN
United States District Judge
DATED: December 22, 1995