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San Francisco Examiner
March 12, 1994
Jury awards S.F. radio executive $1 million

By Dennis J. Opatrny
of the Examiner Staff

A former national advertising sales manager for radio stations KSAN and KNEW has won a $1.12 million judgment against her former employers for wrongful termination.

A San Francisco Superior Court jury returned a unanimous verdict against Malrite Communications Group Inc. of Cleveland after a three-week trial, attorney Rod Bushnell said Friday.

Bushnell said the jury deliberated less than a day and found that the corporation fired Diana Kimbrell, 39, without cause or good reason.

Kimbrell was terminated on June 30, 1992, after nearly seven years with the radio stations. She handled their national advertising accounts.

In an interview, she said her boss had decided to hire new personnel, including a replacement for her despite the fact that she had received no negative performance reviews or other indications that she wasn't doing good work.

Kimbrell said at a termination hearing that her superiors had given "vague reasons" for firing her, but once she started legal proceedings, they became more specific, such as alleging she failed to service her accounts properly.

"The jury didn't buy their argument." Bushnell said. "We just were able to show that Diana was doing a good job."

William Gaus, lead defense counsel, declined comment on the jury award. He said Malrite had not decided whether to ask Superior Court Judge Richard Figone for a new trial or to reduce the amount of money it must pay Kimbrell.

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