Government & Politics

Kansas City contemplating another half-million-dollar lawsuit settlement

Kansas City Water Services lab supervisor Wilbur Dunnell appears in an education video as “Dr. H2O.” The Law Department has recommended that the City Council settle a discrimination lawsuit filed by Dunnell.
Kansas City Water Services lab supervisor Wilbur Dunnell appears in an education video as “Dr. H2O.” The Law Department has recommended that the City Council settle a discrimination lawsuit filed by Dunnell. City of Kanasas City

The Kansas City Law Department has recommended that the City Council settle a discrimination lawsuit with a longtime Water Services employee for $557,567.

The council will consider the settlement next week.

It would resolve a case filed in 2015 by Wilbur Dunnell, a chemist and longtime supervisor with the Water Services lab division. Dunnell is known locally as “Dr. H2O” from his educational videos and visits to schools to teach kids about the science of water quality.

His lawsuit said he was discriminated against based on his race. The settlement would avoid a trial, resolve any potential liability and attorneys’ fees, and Dunnell would retire.

In early March, the city settled a different water employee’s lawsuit claim of a sexually hostile workplace for $500,000.

A third longtime water services chemist, Thomas Sanders, has a lawsuit still pending in Jackson County Circuit Court, with a trial scheduled in May.

Lynn Horsley: 816-226-2058, @LynnHorsley

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