BELLEVILLE, Ill. (UPI/KMOX) — A Metro-East woman wins what is believed to be the largest judgment ever handed down in an individual sexual harassment case.
A judge awarded Ashley Alford of Fairview Heights, Illinois $95 million Friday, June 10, 2011 from an incident dating back to 2006.
The lawsuit claims the harassment started shortly after Alford began working at Aaron’s rent-to-own furniture store in Fairview Heights.
Alford’s boss Richard Moore, the then store manager of the branch, nicknamed Alford “Trixie.” He also groped her breasts and commented about her looks, reports Reuters. The suit details an incident where Moore threw Alford down to the floor, pulled up her blouse and sexually assaulted her.
Alford says she called the Aaron’s sexual harassment hotline but her message was never returned. She then sued Aaron’s in 2008.
Usually a company is not liable for the sexual harassment conducted by their employees, however in this case Aaron’s knew of the incident and did nothing to safeguard their employees for the harassment, such as firing Moore.
Alford’s attorney Judy Cates believes this is the largest judgment ever in an individual sexual harassment case, but Alford may not see the whole amount awarded. According to the New York Daily News federal caps on damages in such cases will likely reduce the verdict to around $40 million.
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