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Attorney Angela Alioto accused the maker of Ho Hos, Twinkies and Wonder Bread in San Francisco Superior Court on May 24 of racially discriminating against 21 of its workers and asked for $260 million in general damages. “My clients were treated differently because of the color of their skin and only because of the color of their skin,” Alioto said in opening statements of a trial that Superior Court Judge Stuart Pollak said could stretch into July. Defense attorney Patrick Mullin will deliver his opening statement today to a jury of nine men and three women. Two of the men are African-American, two men are Asian-Americans and the remainder of the jurors are Caucasians. All the plaintiffs are African-Americans. In his court papers, Mullin denied all 41 allegations, which include racial discrimination, wrongful termination, retaliation and sexual harassment made against Interstate Brands Corp., a Kansas City-headquartered firm with a baking plant in San Francisco, Ca. “Defendant IBC has exercised reasonable care to prevent and correct promptly any acts of discrimination, harassment and retaliation,” Mullin said. “Defendant IBC maintains and enforces policies prohibiting the discrimination and harassment of and retaliation against its employees.” In an accompanying statement issued by IBC, the nation’s largest baker said, “We take these allegations very seriously, and we are confident the issues raised in this action can and will be resolved.” Although the case, Carroll v. Interstate Brands Corp., 995728, is the centerpiece of the trial, an underlying legal feud between Alioto and her co-counsel, Waukeen McCoy, continues to simmer. Both attorneys have filed actions against each other. Alioto alleges the McCoy stole three of her clients. Those clients accuse Alioto, whose public persona is one of an unabashed liberal and street fighter for the underprivileged, of being racially prejudiced. McCoy and Alioto said they have called a truce in their feud during the trial and hope to formalize their d�tente afterwards. But lead plaintiff Theodis Carroll, who was the first to defect to McCoy, said he hasn’t changed his mind about Alioto. In a move that nearly sidetracked the trial, Alioto threatened to file a Wheeler motion, alleging that a black, female prospective juror was removed because of her race. She backed down when Pollak said the entire jury would have to be excused and juror selection started again. “We will withdraw the motion, but the concern is still there,” said Alioto, of the Law Offices of Joseph L. Alioto and Angela Alioto. During opening statements, Alioto said that IBC employs 1,100 people in Northern California, but “there is not one African-American employee in management.” She then listed the qualifications and length of service that each of her clients has that should have moved them up to management, but didn’t. “No one said to give them a job because of the color of their skin,” she said. “That’s not what this case is about.”

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