A federal jury awarded a Catholic school teacher, who was fired after she became pregnant through artificial insemination, more than $170,000 on Monday.
Christa Dias won her anti-discrimination lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati after her attorney was able to convince the jury that she was fired for being pregnant and unmarried.
Dias declined to comment immediately after the verdict, but later said she was "very happy and relieved."
The archdiocese was ordered to shell out a total of $71,000 for back pay and compensatory damages and $100,000 in punitive damages. Dias had looked for damages in the $637,000 range, but she said she was satisfied with the jury's award.
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"It was never about the money," she said. "They should have followed the law and they didn't."
Steven Goodin, the attorney for the archdiocese, said Dias was fired for violating the part of her contract that required her to comply with the philosophies and teachings of the Catholic Church. The Church considers artificial insemination immoral, WCPO reported.
"We have always argued that this case was about a contract violation and should never have been allowed to come to trial," Goodin said after the verdict.
Goodin also said a decision would be made later on whether to appeal, and it is believed that the case will likely end up in an appeals court.
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Dias, who is gay and is not a Catholic, now lives in Atlanta with her partner and their 2-year-old daughter. She said that she pursued the lawsuit "for the sake of other women" and that she filed it for "my daughter's sake, so she knows it's important to stand up for what's right."