BARBIERI SETTLEMENT BULLET POINTS
1. The prospect, however unlikely the plaintiff, Ralph Barbieri, had any case, of a sympathetic liberal SF jury hearing how a big greedy corporate company from Atlanta fired a man in the early stages of Parkinson's disease was reason enough for Cumulus to settle.
2. Forget how you feel about Barbieri--good or bad--the mere legal facts of the case, however nebulous, were enough to cause the powers that be to get this behind them.
3. In spite of the "blown-away" amount of settlement money offered by Cumulus, Angela Alioto, the attorney for Barbieri, wanted to go to trial, according to my source. It was Ralph Barbieri who was happy about the offer and told Alioto the figure was good for him. (No shit, Sherlock.) The $4M settlement is more than enough to live comfortably for the rest of one's life.
4. Barbieri has a special needs son; the settlement money will go a long way to helping his son navigate through life. It was that major element that gave emphasis to this complaint.
5. A biggie: This settlement is also about pragmatism. Barbieri isn't the only older Cumulus employee in SF that has a debilitating disease. This settlement might have staved off another possible future legal showdown.
6. Alioto comes from a family with deep Italian legal roots in SF and likes a good fight. Don't think the Dickey bunch did a lot of "Joe Alioto" googling. And Angela ain't so bad herself.
7. Yes, it was a settlement and not a victory. But even the most ardent optimists in this town gave Barbieri no shot at this case even smelling a courtroom. The settlement award was astounding. Wonder what those who said he had no chance are thinking today.
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