skip to main content


Firm obtains $2.4M gender bias settlement with Boston Police Department

The firm obtained a $2.4 million settlement on behalf of Beth Donovan, a former Deputy Superintendent in the Boston Police Department who brought gender discrimination, hostile work environment, and retaliation claims against the City of Boston.

Attorneys Nicholas Carter and Lucia Passanisi led the trial team.  Attorneys Maria Lombardi, Widmaier Charles, and Charlotte Bednar also worked on the case.

Ms. Donovan alleged that top department officials falsely accused her of having a drinking problem, placed her on administrative leave, and demoted her as punishment for making complaints against high-ranking male officers.

She was the first woman to reach the rank of Deputy Superintendent of the Boston Police Department’s Bureau of Field Services and had a stellar career, overseeing large events such as the Boston Marathon.

Ms. Donovan sought damages for lost job promotional opportunities, emotional distress, and reputational harm as well as punitive damages. 

“Beth Donovan took on the Boston Police Department simply to demand fair treatment as a woman leader there,” Mr. Carter said.  “She is pleased with the result and hopes this helps women who remain at the BPD and those who come after.  Hopefully her case and some of the other women who have recently been successful in suing for discrimination, like Donna Gavin, the BPD will start to change, and women won’t be punished for demanding fair and equal treatment.”

The firm (led by Mr. Carter and Ms. Passanisi) previously represented former Lieutenant Detective Donna Gavin in securing a $2 million jury verdict against the Boston Police Department for gender bias, harassment, and retaliation.