Woman awarded nearly $3.5M in racial and sexual harassment case against Chamblee business
ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - A jury recently awarded a metro Atlanta woman a record-breaking $3.47 million in a racial and sexual harassment case, according to lawyers.
The sum was the largest ever given in a single-plaintiff verdict case in the Northern District of Georgia, according to civil rights law firm Buckley Bala Wilson Mew. The suit was brought against Tidal Wave Response, a water and fire damage restoration service in Chamblee, and its owner, John Myers.
According to the firm, the business racially and sexually harassed the plaintiff for three and a half years, resulting in a “violent incident.” The owner and his lawyers reportedly tried to change the hearing date. When the judge refused, they left the courtroom, Buckley Bala Wilson Mew said.
“This is the first time I’ve had the defendant and their lawyers flee the courtroom during a trial,” attorney Ed Buckley said in the statement. “... We asked the jury to state the values of the community in their verdict, and specifically to respond to the violation of the community standards that had taken place here. The jury did so, speaking out as one against racism and sexism in the workplace.”
Here’s a breakdown of the damages:
- $3,000,000 in punitive damages against the owner for race discrimination
- $300,140 in compensatory damages against the owner for race discrimination, racial harassment and retaliation
- $50,113.82 for backpay
- $50,000 in punitive damages against Tidal Wave Response for race discrimination, racial harassment and retaliation
- $50,000 in punitive damages against Tidal Wave Response for sex discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation
- $20,140 in compensatory damages against Tidal Wave Response for race discrimination, racial harassment and retaliation
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