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Posted On: October 27, 2010 by Peter M. LaSorsa

Cost Of Defending A Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

This case is a prime example of how much it could cost to defend a sexual harassment lawsuit. The city of Dallas spent nearly $1.4 million in legal fees defending itself in three sexual harassment lawsuits filed by four women against Dallas Fire-Rescue. The real interesting fact is that the women received a good deal less than $1.4 million. So the most obvious question is why not settle the lawsuits quickly and save the taxpayers money? Two of the females Cheryl HIll and Sherrir Lopez received a total of $225,000. A third employee Helen Watts settled her sexual harassment lawsuit for $30,000 and the fourth litigant Leanne Siri-Edwards case is still pending.

I believe it is a bad business decision to spend more money on legal fees than it cost to settle the cases. Basically, the city spent $1.4 million to defend claims that were settled for a total of $255,000. I don't know many successful business people who would run their business in that fashion. As an example of the type of sexual harassment the woman endured Ms. Hill found fluid in her coffee cup. Testing on the cup later confirmed that the fluid was semen. Hill said that although a male employee was later placed on paid leave after admitting to being the perpetrator, she was the victim of retaliation by her supervisors for filing the grievance.

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