Wednesday, March 28, 2012

$168 Million Workplace Bullying and Harassment Verdict

I've been meaning to get this on the blog for awhile. The L.A. Times reports, California physician assistant wins $168 million in harassment suit. In case you were wondering, that's $42.7 million for lost wages and mental anguish (I'm guessing heavy on the mental anguish) and $125 million in punitive damages.

There's little doubt that the final amount paid will be less than that. But still, what kind of conduct leads to such an enormous jury award?
There were at least 18 [complaints], she recalled, many having to do with the bullying surgeon who once stabbed her with a needle and broke the ribs of an anesthetized heart patient in a fit of rage. Another surgeon, she said, would greet her each morning with "I'm horny" and slap her bottom. Yet another called her "stupid chick" in the operating room and made disparaging remarks about her Armenian heritage, asking if she had joined Al Qaeda.
Sounds pretty rough... but $168 million rough? The number grabs headlines - I doubt we'll see any headlines about the final number though. It will either not be sensational enough for headlines, or subject to a confidentiality clause in a settlement.

Others blogged of this before me, including Stephanie Thomas and Chris McKinney.

Image: American Cash is in the public domain.