Putting a good spin on bad news, WWOR-TV lawyer John Arseneault said last week’s jury’s award of $7.3 million to ousted anchorwoman Sara Lee Kessler was only the sixth or seventh round of a 15-round fight.

In the coming slugfest:

  • Arseneault will ask for a new trial, or at least a remittitur on grounds that the award was grossly out of whack with the damages Kessler suffered.
  • Plaintiffs’ lawyer Neil Mullin, of Montclair’s Smith Mullin — having burnished the firm’s reputation for winning high-profile cases against employers — will request a fat award in the $1 million neighborhood under the fee-switching provisions of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination.
  • The station will duel with its workers’ compensation carrier in a coverage bout that will have a huge audience among insurance lawyers. It will be the first attempt at the trial level to apply the new state Supreme Court doctrine that says workers’ comp covers the physical manifestations of damages for discrimination.

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