The opinion of the court was delivered by: CONNER
On April 9, 1998, a jury returned a verdict in plaintiff's favor against defendant Ultramar Corporation, finding that Ultramar violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (the "ADEA") by discriminating against plaintiff on the basis of his age. The jury awarded plaintiff $ 1,427,200 as damages for his total financial losses. Plaintiff now moves, pursuant to 29 U.S.C. § 626(b), to supplement the legal damages awarded by the jury with post-verdict equitable relief. Specifically, plaintiff seeks an order (1) reinstating him to an appropriate position at Ultramar or, alternatively, front pay, (2) awarding him pension benefits covering the period from his termination to the present, and (3) awarding him prejudgment interest on the jury award.
For the reasons discussed below, the motion is denied in all respects.
The ADEA, 29 U.S.C. § 621 et seq., was enacted in an effort to eradicate age discrimination in the workplace. McKennon v. Nashville Banner Publ'g Co., 513 U.S. 352, 357, 130 L. Ed. 2d 852, 115 S. Ct. 879 (1995). Its remedial measures were designed "to serve as a 'spur or catalyst' to cause employers 'to self-examine and to self-evaluate their employment practices and to endeavor to eliminate, so far as possible, the last vestiges' of discrimination." Id. at 358 (quoting Albemarle Paper Co v. Moody, 422 U.S. 405, 417-18, 45 L. Ed. 2d 280, 95 S. Ct. 2362 (1975)). More specifically, the ADEA's purpose is two-fold: to deter age discrimination and to compensate for injuries caused by such discrimination. Id.
Section 626(b) of the ADEA provides that a district court "shall have jurisdiction to grant such legal or equitable relief as may be appropriate to effectuate the purposes of [the ADEA], including without limitation judgments compelling employment, reinstatement or promotion . . . ." See also McKennon, 513 U.S. at 357-358. This "broad grant of remedial authority" is to be used by the district courts "to fashion remedies designed to ensure that victims of age discrimination are made whole." Whittlesey v. Union Carbide Corp., 742 F.2d 724, 728 (2d Cir. 1984). The decision to award such relief is within the sound discretion of the district court, and will be reviewed only for abuse of that discretion. See, e.g., Malarkey v. Texaco, Inc., 983 F.2d 1204, 1214 (2d Cir. 1993).
Although the ADEA permits a district court, in its discretion, to order reinstatement, such relief may be inappropriate if "the employer-employee relationship may have been irreparably damaged by animosity associated with the litigation." Whittlesey, 742 F.2d at 728; accord Kirsch v. Fleet Street, Ltd., 148 F.3d 149, 1998 U.S. App. LEXIS 13516, *47, 1998 WL 334714, at *17 (2d Cir. 1998); Padilla v. Metro-North Commuter R.R., 92 F.3d 117, 125 (2d Cir. 1996), cert. denied, 138 L. Ed. 2d 211, 117 S. Ct. 2453 (1997). The Court has witnessed the contentious relationship between the parties throughout this litigation, and finds that reinstatement is not an appropriate remedy. See, e.g., Kirsch, 148 F.3d 149, 1998 U.S. App. LEXIS 13516, 1998 WL 334714, at *17; Greenbaum v. Svenska Handelsbanken, 979 F. Supp. 973, 987 (S.D.N.Y. 1997).
III. Front Pay and Pension Benefits
Under certain circumstances, an equitable award of front pay (compensation for future lost earnings) may be appropriate to effectuate the purposes of the ADEA. See Dominic v. Consolidated Edison Co. of N.Y., 822 F.2d 1249, 1256-57 (2d Cir. 1987) (citing Whittlesey, 742 F.2d at 728). Compensation for lost pension benefits also "falls within the category of equitable relief." Geller v. Markham, 635 F.2d 1027, 1036 (2d Cir. 1980). Where reinstatement is inappropriate, these forms of prospective relief may be warranted in order to "'make victims of discrimination whole in cases where the factfinder can reasonably predict that the plaintiff has no reasonable prospect of obtaining comparable alternative employment.'" Reed v. A.W. Lawrence & Co., 95 F.3d 1170, 1182 (2d Cir. 1996) (quoting Padilla, 92 F.3d at 125-26).
The decision to award front pay and other compensation for future losses is in the discretion of the district court. See Reed, 95 F.3d at 1182; Saulpaugh v. Monroe Community Hosp., 4 F.3d 134, 145 (2d Cir. 1993). In evaluating whether to exercise this discretion, "the district court should determine whether the award will aid in ending illegal discrimination and rectifying the harm it causes." Dunlap-McCuller v. Riese Org., 980 F.2d 153, 159 (2d Cir. 1992) (internal quotation and citation omitted). Under no circumstances should such an award be "unduly speculative." Id.
Front pay and other future benefits may only be awarded where the jury's award is insufficient to make the plaintiff whole for the discrimination he suffered. See Reed, 95 F.3d at 1182; Padilla, 92 F.3d at 126; Saulpaugh, 4 F.3d at 145; Malarkey, 983 F.2d at 1214; Barbano v. Madison County, 922 F.2d 139, 147 (2d Cir. 1990). In this case, the jury's award was specifically designed to make plaintiff whole. On the jury verdict form, the jury awarded plaintiff over $ 1.4 million "as ...