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Jury awards Clive doctor $340,000 in age-bias case


A Polk County jury has awarded $340,000 in an age-discrimination case that was brought by a Clive doctor who was asked during an interview at a state-operated health-care facility whether he could “get down on your hands and knees and perform CPR” and why he wanted to work at his age. Dr. Zane Hurken was 78 at the time of the interview in February 2010 at the Woodward Resource Center in Dallas County. According to court records, he was hired by the center’s director over the objections of the supervisor who conducted the interview, Dr. Som Lerd. Hurken was fired eight days after being hired. During that time, he was denied adequate training and his hours and pay were cut, according to the lawsuit. The jury awarded Hurken $140,138 in lost wages, $150,000 for past emotional distress and $50,000 for future emotional distress. He was represented by Jill Zwagerman and Brian O’Neill of the Newkirk Law Firm. The Woodward Resource Center, which provides services to people with mental disabilities, was represented by the Iowa attorney general’s office.

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