U.S. District Judge Walter E. Black Jr. has left intact a $375,000 jury award to a former Maryland State Police paramedic who said he was improperly denied parental leave because he is a man, but said a state personnel officer -- and not the state -- is liable for payment.
Black said in an order last week the state could not be held liable for the award to retired Tfc. H. Kevin Knussman because of the doctrine of sovereign immunity, but personnel officer Jill D. Mullineaux would be responsible for payment.
Knussman's attorney, Robin Cockey, said the state is "obliged to indemnify" Mullineaux. But Betty Stemley Sconion, an attorney for the state police, said the decision on approving payment would be up to the Board of Public Works. She said the state is considering an appeal of the award to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.