Fresno State, Johnson-Klein reach $9 million settlement

FRESNO, Calif. -- The former women's basketball coach who sued Fresno State in a sex discrimination claim has reached a $9 million settlement deal.

In December, a jury awarded Stacy Johnson-Klein $19.1 million for unlawful termination. She claimed she was fired for threatening to expose the school's unequal treatment of female athletes and coaches.

University attorneys appealed, and Johnson-Klein filed a cross appeal. A Fresno County judge later reduced her total award to $6.6 million, plus $2.5 million in attorneys' fees.

The $9 million settlement brokered Tuesday appears to end the bitter court battle.

Johnson-Klein and her lawyers will receive a lump sum of $5.4 million immediately, said the coach's lead attorney, Warren Paboojian.

Starting in three years, they will also get an annual $150,000 to be dispensed over 20 years, and each of Johnson-Klein's six children will receive a $100,000 annuity to fund their college education, the university said.

"We are grateful to conclude this case," CSU general gounsel Christine Helwick said in a statement. "The resolution allows the California State University maximum flexibility in paying out such a large judgment over a longer period of time."