Brandi Cochran, a former model on daytime television show The Price Is Right, has been awarded $7.7 million in damages by a Los Angeles court after successfully suing the show for not letting her return to work after giving birth. The whopping amount is in addition to $775,000 in compensatory damages awarded to the 41-year-old after the jury in the case ruled that producers had acted with malice.
"I hope my case will help other women in the same situation," Cochran told Reuters outside the courtroom. Producers for The Price Is Right said they planned to appeal over the verdict though, in truth, they've probably got little chance of overturning the decision. Cochran - the wife of soap opera actor Dean Cochran - had told the court how the show's producers began treating her poorly after she told them in December 2008 that she was expecting twins. The former Miss USA said that once she was pregnant, producers made disparaging remarks about her eating habits and removed her from the show's website. Price is Right host Drew Carey backed producers in testimony earlier this month.
Cochran worked as a model on the show from 2002 until 2009. Her son was stillborn in February 2009 and her daughter was born prematurely the following month. She asked to return to the show in February 2010 but was turned down. Cochran was encouraged to sue the producers by Hunter Tylo, the actress who successfully sued the producers of Melrose Place after being fired because of her pregnancy in the mid-1990s.