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Fourteen-Year Employment Litigation Culminates in Defense Verdict

Client Type: Publicly traded

A Hodgson Russ team led by Patrick Hines, Ryan Lucinski, and Emily Florczak secured victory for a publicly-traded company in a lengthy jury trial in New York state court. The case arose out of a love triangle among current and former company employees, where an employee was accused of harassing and stalking an ex-girlfriend and her boyfriend-turned-husband at work and off hours with the use of company equipment. The plaintiffs sued our client under a number of tort theories, all but one of which were dismissed on summary judgment and on appeal. Plaintiffs’ negligent retention claim remained for trial. In short, plaintiffs claimed that our employer client acted negligently in supervising and retaining the allegedly-offending employee, and that it failed to adequately investigate plaintiffs’ complaints of harassment, all of which caused them harm. Plaintiffs sought compensatory damages for emotional distress and punitive damages. After four weeks of proof, which included testimony from 15 lay and expert witnesses, the jury took 45 minutes to return a unanimous verdict in favor of our client. The jury did find that the allegedly harassing employee (now deceased) acted negligently, but his estate is judgment proof.