Deaf truck driver awarded $36M by a jury for discrimination

Victor Robinson, who has been deaf his whole life, was awarded over $36 million in damages after a trucking company told him they wouldn't hire him because he was deaf.
Victor Robinson Photos

A deaf man who says a truck driving company told him that they would not hire him because he couldn’t hear won over $36 million in damages by a jury a month ago.

Victor Robinson, who is in his 40s and has lived his whole life deaf, told ABC News that Werner Enterprises trucking company passed him in their commercial driver’s license (CDL) training program, but when he applied for a job in 2016, the company’s Vice President of Safety and Compliance Jamie Hamm, who was Jamie Maus at the time, told him he wouldn’t get the job.

“It was really intense,” Robinson told ABC News through an interpreter. “The person said, ‘We can’t hire you because you can’t hear,’ and hung up [the video call]. And there it was. The end. And I got to the point where I didn’t know what else to do.”

Robinson eventually reached out to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). They reviewed his case and decided to file a lawsuit against Werner.

“That fact has baffled us from the beginning,” Josh Pierson, Robinson’s lawyer, told ABC News. “The fact that Victor and other deaf drivers can complete training school, can get their CDL, even attend training schools owned by Werner but then aren’t allowed to drive for the company, ultimately.”

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