The federal Civil Rights Act (“Act”) was enacted by Congress in 1964 to protect individual civil liberties, but the Act has evolved over time into a vehicle that can also be used to challenge public agencies on a wide range of topics, as long as there is a constitutional right implicated. This side of the Act recently shocked the County of Sacramento, when a jury awarded a mining operator more than $100 million in compensatory and punitive damages for unconstitutional treatment affecting the business. In my recent Daily Journal of Commerce article, I look at the implications of the verdict in Hardesty v. Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District. Read the full article here.
Originally published as “Op-Ed: Draconian results for California agencies in civil rights case” by the Daily Journal of Commerce on July 21, 2017.