The Difference In Juries - $3 Million Worth
by Michael Fox
Check out the Ames Tribune story reporting on a $3 million dollar sexual harassment verdict for a former graduate assistant at Iowa State University who alleged she had been harassed by a now deceased professor. In 1999 a jury heard the case and found no liability. The Iowa Supreme Court reversed the lower court's finding because of an error in the charge. McElroy v. Iowa State University (Iowa 2001). The second time around, Julie Duvall McElroy was more successful. The court case gives more of the facts, including that disciplinary action against the professor was dropped when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. The facts certainly don't appear to of the type that would make you anticipate a $3 million verdict. The newspaper article doesn't make clear whether there was any change in attorneys or how the case was tried, but it certainly does illustrate the point that anything can, and often does, happen at the courthouse.