Brandi Cochran. Supplied picture
A former model on the U.S. daytime television game show
"The Price is Right" has been awarded $US7.7 million in
punitive damages by a Los Angeles court after suing the show
for not letting her return to work after giving birth.
The amount was in addition to $US775,000 in compensatory
damages awarded to 41-year-old Brandi Cochran, after the jury
in the case ruled that the producers of the show had acted
with malice by not taking her back after her pregnancy.
The jury rejected Cochran's claim for mental hardship she
said she had suffered.
"I hope my case will help other women in the same situation,"
Cochran told reporters outside the courtroom after the trial.
Producers for "The Price is Right" said they planned to
Cochran, who is married to soap-opera actor Dean Cochran,
told the Los Angeles Superior Court the show's producers
began treating her poorly after she told them in December
2008 that she was expecting twins.
The former Miss USA and Miss Teen USA told the court that
once she was pregnant, producers made disparaging remarks
about her eating habits and weight, and removed her from the
The show's comedian host Drew Carey backed the producers in
testimony earlier this month.
Cochran worked as model on the show from 2002 until January
2009. Her son was stillborn in February 2009 and her daughter
was born prematurely the following month. Cochran said she
asked to return to the show, but was turned down in February
Cochran said she was encouraged to sue by actress Hunter
Tylo's successful 1997 pregnancy discrimination suit against
the producers of the TV show "Melrose Place," who fired Tylo
after she announced she was expecting a child.