Brandi Cochran, 'Price Is Right' Model, Awarded $777,000 In Pregnancy Discrimination Suit

Brandi Cochran Price Is Right lawsuit pregnancy

LOS ANGELES -- Jurors awarded nearly $777,000 Tuesday to a former "The Price is Right" model who claimed that she was discriminated against by producers because of her pregnancy.

Brandi Cochran, 41, said she was rejected by the game show's producers when she tried to return to work in early 2010 after taking maternity leave.

The Superior Court jury determined that her pregnancy was the reason she wasn't rehired and it awarded Cochran $776,944 in the suit against producers FremantleMedia North America and The Price is Right Productions.

In their defense, producers said that they were satisfied with the five models working on the show at the time Cochran sought to return. Their counsel also noted how the show was in a period of transition under new host Drew Carey, and so needed fewer models.

But Cochran also spoke about a history of being harassed for her pregnancy on the set. In one instance, she claimed that a producer on the show blurted out, "wide load coming through," as she walked by. And when an earlier pregnancy ended in a miscarriage in 2007, she alleged that a producer told her, "it's nature's way of getting rid of a bad baby."

A second phase of the trial will determine whether Cochran should be awarded punitive damages in the pregnancy discrimination case. Cochran's attorneys had asked for more than $8 million, City News Service reported.

More: 8 Ways Employers Can Discriminate Against Workers -- Legally

Jurors began deliberations Thursday, telling Judge Kevin Brazile several times that they were deadlocked before reaching the verdict.

In a statement, FremantleMedia said it expects to be "fully vindicated" after an appeal, adding that it stands behind executive producer Mike Richards and the show's staff.

"We believe the verdict in this case was the result of a flawed process in which the court, among other things, refused to allow the jury to hear and consider that 40 percent of our models have been pregnant," and further "important" evidence, FremantleMedia said.

A call seeking comment from Cochran's attorney wasn't immediately returned Tuesday.

The verdict is a rare one for a program that has seen other lawsuits. Longtime host Bob Barker, who retired in 2007, was sued by some of the show's hostesses for sexual harassment and wrongful termination.

Most of the cases involving "Barker's Beauties" -- the nickname given the gown-wearing women who presented prizes to contestants -- ended with out-of-court settlements.

One particularly high-profile case took place in 1995, when Holly Hallstrom walked away with a multimillion dollar award. In her case, she claimed she was let go for gaining 14 pounds and not helping Barker fight back against charges made by other models on the show.

AOL Jobs contributed to this report.





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timetojumpout

Just another money-grubbing "model" wanting to live on easy street. I think they should do away with ALL the models on the Price Is Right and just have the announcer talk about the products.

November 28 2012 at 12:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sny357

This is about the third time I've heard of Price is Right female models filing lawsuits; perhaps its time to hire men from now on.

November 27 2012 at 11:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jeri-Anne

EIGHT MILLION DOLLARS for punitive damages?

November 27 2012 at 9:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Plummer, Joseph

upon employment, papers are signed, companies have policies, and not adhereing to them could result in loss of job. did she have a contract , what were the policies of the program

November 27 2012 at 6:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mesager42

'Price Is Right' management should be fired. They really messed up on this one.

Americans love babies. Baby bumps are the new hot look for some celebrities.

Brandi Cochran with her "baby bump" would have been a hot seller on "Price Is Right", because folks get off on speculating about pregnancy and hot mama's. My hubby tries to figure out which news anchors are preggers on CNN, MSNBC, and The Weather Channel. He thinks it's cool.

If Cochran still had a little "baby bump" tummy left after maternity leave - it would have led to more viewers. More people would have been tuning in to the 'baby bump' game show model. Vanna White got lots of attention during her pregnancies while on 'Wheel of Fortune'.

Would have been cool for 'Price Is Right' show if Cochran would have been encouraged to visit the show via webcam while at home on pregnancy leave to say "Hi" to the viewers and show off a new member of the show's family.

November 27 2012 at 3:48 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
dws51564

Since when can't women return to work after having a baby? Lame excuse from the producers.

November 27 2012 at 3:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
larry

Too bad she won this lawsuit. This just gives another excuse for employers NOT to hire women for certain positions. In my opinion, this is two steps forward and 6 steps backward for women.

November 27 2012 at 3:03 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
PLW

Could not she have been placed on maternity leave with the option to return? What did her contract say? That she was employable no matter what? Surely there was some clause.What if she'd been in a wreck and couldn't have smiled and handed out prizes?

November 27 2012 at 12:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
toddisit

That's a lot of money for getting pregnant but I generally agree she should not have been let go over it.

Bunch of goofy stuff going on out there today with employers. Problem is most business people are not lawyers so they have no clue what the laws are, let alone understand the laws when they make these decisions.

November 21 2012 at 10:31 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Beverly

Before commenting, I would love to know what is stated in MS. Cochran's contract. Would have been nice if her contract was posted so we could all make an intelligent decision !!

November 21 2012 at 10:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Beverly's comment
hedunlap

Obviously the jurors were made aware of the content of her contract. Obviously the show violated her contract. So now they pay.

November 28 2012 at 12:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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