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6,000 Chicago blacks to share $30 million in latest get rich lawsuit.


In 1995, 6,000 blacks applied to be firefighters but didn’t score high enough on the aptitude test. Now they will be showered with free money for being black. A select 111 will get hired as firefighters and get a free 16 year pension credit.

From SF Chronicle…

A federal appeals court ruled on Friday that the Chicago Fire Department must hire 111 African Americans who passed a firefighters entrance exam 16 years ago and pay millions of dollars to thousands more who took and passed the same test.

The Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling was the latest blow to the city, which has been on the losing end of court decisions regarding the 1995 test for years, including a 2005 ruling by a federal judge who said the test discriminated against black applicants and a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year that the candidates did not wait too long to sue the city.

An attorney for the black firefighter candidates said that the 111 jobs would be filled from the applicants who passed the 1995 test and their pensions would be adjusted as if they’d been firefighters since 1995. And, said Joshua Karsh, 6,000 others who also passed the test will divide “tens of millions of dollars” that would have been paid 111 firefighters from 1995 until today.

A spokeswoman for the city’s law department called the decision a “partial victory” for the city because it reduced the number of African Americans the fire department must hire from 132 to 111. “Reducing the number of plaintiffs who are eligible reduces the damages,” said Jenny Hoyle.

Hoyle said that the city was still calculating the damages as result of dividing the back pay of 111 firefighters among the 6,000 applicants, but that officials estimate the payout will be about $30 million.

The ruling stems from a test given in 1995 that was intended to measure an aptitude for firefighting. After the test, anyone who scored 64 or below was deemed not qualified, but officials told those who scored above that number that while they passed, they would randomly hire the top 1,800 who scored 89 or better.

Because only 11 percent of the African Americans scored 89 or better, the overwhelming number of applicants hired from that test were white.