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Lambda drops suit against Bellevue over employee benefits
Lambda drops suit against Bellevue over employee benefits
'We're pleased that our clients will finally be able to access the domestic partner benefits they were forced to do without for years, despite having urgent family needs.'

Lambda Legal has filed a motion in King County Superior Court to dismiss its lawsuit against the City of Bellevue on behalf of three city employees seeking the same benefits for their same-sex partners their heterosexual coworkers already receive for their spouses. The city council approved a benefits plan in June.

"We've been waiting to see what unfolded as the City enacted its benefits plan," said Lambda Legal Staff Attorney Tara Borelli. "Our clients are in the process of enrolling, and so far have experienced no problems. We're pleased that our clients will finally be able to access the domestic partner benefits they were forced to do without for years, despite having urgent family needs."

Lambda Legal represented veteran Bellevue City firefighters Faun Patzer and Larry deGroen, along with lead city 911 dispatcher George Einsetler.

Larry deGroen is a firefighter and paramedic and has been an employee of the city for more than 12 years. He and life partner Tom Dixon have been together for more than 16 years. Faun Patzer has a 17-year career as a Bellevue firefighter, and was the first female firefighter to successfully complete the city's prestigious paramedic training program. She has been with life partner Carrie Wurzburg for over four years. George Einsetler is the city's lead 9-1-1 dispatcher, and has been a city employee for 13 years. He and his life partner, Cameron Murdock, have been in a committed relationship for more than three years.

Lambda Legal Staff Attorney Tara L. Borelli and Lambda Legal Senior Counsel Jennifer C. Pizer were counsel in deGroen et al v. City of Bellevue et al. Derek A. Newman of Newman & Newman, Attorneys at Law, LLP in Seattle served as co-counsel on the case.

Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of Lesbians, Gay men, Bisexuals, Transgender people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.

A Lambda Legal press release

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