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A federal jury awarded $29 million in damages Wednesday to a former Wall Street executive who sued UBS AG, alleging the bank discriminated against her because she was a woman and then retaliated when she complained about her treatment. Laura Zubulake, 44, a former director for the bank’s Asian equities sales desk in Manhattan and Stamford, Conn., said she was gratified and relieved by the verdict in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. Zubulake sued UBS, Switzerland’s largest bank, after she was fired in 2001 from a job she had begun in 1999. The jury awarded $9.1 million in compensatory damages and $20.1 million in punitive damages. In her closing statement, lawyer Bettina Plevan for UBS said Zubulake was fired because she “had performance problems” and was not a team player. “Despite the extensive coaching and counseling she received, she did not improve and she didn’t even acknowledge that there was a problem that she needed to address,” Plevan said. After the verdict, Plevan did not immediately return a telephone message for comment. In closing arguments, lawyer James R. Hubbard had asked the jury to award Zubulake between $9.7 million and $10.2 million. Hubbard told jurors that a male executive had said Zubulake was “old and ugly and she can’t do the job.” Zubulake said she hoped the verdict would encourage “all women on Wall Street who experience similar things.” Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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