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New Haven Firefighters Get Damages In 2009 Bias Case

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FILE July 15, 2009 -- New Haven, Connecticut firefighters attend the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings in 2009 of then US Supreme Court Nominee Sonia Sotomayor, who ruled against the white firefighters when she served on a federal appeals court.(Photo credit: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

FILE July 15, 2009 — New Haven, Connecticut firefighters attend the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings in 2009 of then US Supreme Court Nominee Sonia Sotomayor, who ruled against the white firefighters when she served on a federal appeals court.(Photo credit: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A group of 20 Connecticut firefighters have won about $2 million in damages from the city of New Haven in connection with a reverse discrimination case that went before the U.S. Supreme Court in 2009.

The firefighters were seeking back pay, damages and legal fees from the city in connection with the 2009 case.

The Supreme Court ruled the civil rights of the white firefighters were violated when promotion tests results in 2003 were thrown out by officials because not enough minorities did well on the test.

Twenty firefighters accepted offers from the city for back pay, additional pension benefits and interest, according to court papers.

“I think it’s a fair offer,” said Richard Roberts, an attorney who represented the city. “We’re glad we can move ahead and put this behind us.”

The firefighters will get about $2 million and the city will pay their legal fees of about $3 million.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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