Felhaber Larson Successfully Defends Sexual Harassment Suit
Felhaber Larson’s Penelope Phillips and Grant Collins successfully defended a Minnesota employer being sued in federal court for almost $4 million by a former employee who claimed that she suffered on-the-job sexual harassment and sex discrimination for more than three years and then was terminated after she complained to management about the treatment she said she received.
The ex-employee filing the suit had been employed by the company as an Assistant Project Manager. Despite her claims that the company was indifferent to her complaints, the evidence showed that they actually responded quickly to her concerns and took effective remedial steps to insure that the offending behavior did not recur. They knew they had done nothing wrong and hired Felhaber Larson to make sure that they could have their day in court to tell the real story.
In an attempt to bolster the plaintiff’s claims, her lawyers made numerous demands for extensive data production from the company records. They also sought orders from the court permitting them to flyspeck the company’s computer archives to search for any possible piece of evidence that the employer had not heeded their client’s complaints about her work environment. Phillips and Collins successfully resisted these efforts, petitioning the federal judge to prevent such “fishing expeditions” and to protect the company from incurring needless expense responding to motions that had no real factual basis.
At the conclusion of all the pre-trial activity, Felhaber’s lawyers filed a motion seeking that the claims be dismissed without having to go to trial. They contended that despite all of the plaintiff’s efforts to show that the company did not respond properly to her complaints, the evidence proved otherwise and the case should go no further. The judge heard arguments from both sides and within a very short time issued an order dismissing each and every one of the ex-employee’s claims. The judge agreed that none of those claims had any merit and that no reasonable jury could find that the company failed to respond effectively to her complaints of sexual harassment and sex discrimination.