Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Monday, April 06, 2009

MDV - Same Story, How Many Verses?


From the pages of the LA Times comes another MDV report of a public agency, sued by a still current employee for harassment and retaliation for reporting it. This time it was the LA Police Department, Jury awards $2.3 million in LAPD harassment case.

Melissa Borck complained of numerous obscene gestures and comments, many of them around a pregnancy that resulted in a still born birth of her son. That emotional element clearly added to the emotional issue that was presented to the jury. The jury award was $1 million in economic damages and $1.3 million in non-economic damages, including mental anguish.

Although it is always hard to tell everything from a news report, it appears that the LAPD was in one of those difficult positions, where it thought it had a legal defense, fail to timely file, but must not have been able to win that point on summary judgment. Since if you can't win on summary judgment the only way to test it is after a jury verdict, that can make for a very difficult decision. How strongly do I feel about my legal point? In this case, if in fact that was the decision making process that occurred, the answer is potentially, $2 million dollars plus.

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