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"It's Over": Judge Dismisses Register-Guard Discrimination Case

Judge Josephine Mooney dismissed the case of Markstrom vs Guard Publishing Company in Courtroom 202 in Lane County Circuit Court.
Tiffany Eckert
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Judge Josephine Mooney dismissed the case of Markstrom vs Guard Publishing Company in Courtroom 202 in Lane County Circuit Court.

The civil lawsuit brought by former Register-Guard newspaper reporter Serena Markstrom was dismissed in court Wednesday. The dismissal was based on a pre-trial motion finding destruction of evidence. The judgment was rendered just before jury deliberation.

After six days of testimony, the defense rested just before noon Wednesday. Shortly after the lunch break, Lane County Circuit Court Judge Josephine Mooney dismissed Markstrom’s case “with prejudice.”  Which means Markstrom may not file another lawsuit based on the same grounds. Her attorneys say they will appeal to a higher court.

Judge Josephine Mooney dismissed the case of Markstrom vs Guard Publishing Company in Courtroom 202 in Lane County Circuit Court.
Credit Tiffany Eckert
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Judge Josephine Mooney dismissed the case of Markstrom vs Guard Publishing Company in Courtroom 202 in Lane County Circuit Court.

The 12-person jury had no opportunity to deliberate. They had heard testimony since August 23 rd.

Markstrom was fired from the newspaper in 2014 while pregnant. She claimed discrimination and sought monetary damages.

As Courtroom 202 emptied, Register Guard Human Resource Director and attorney Wendy Baker said, “It’s over.” She added she has more faith than ever in the court system.

Following the dismissal, Markstrom and her attorneys left the courtroom quickly without comment.

Copyright 2016 KLCC

Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and has worked in a variety of media including television and daily print news. For KLCC, Tiffany reports on health care, social justice and local/regional news. She has won awards from Oregon Associated Press, PRNDI, and Education Writers Association.