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Gilbert Employment Law clients awarded $400,000 in punitive damages

by | Sep 20, 2021 | Case Results, Firm News

On July 30, 2021, Judge Amy Berman Jackson from the District Court for the District of Columbia awarded Gilbert Employment Law, P.C. clients Ms. Lilian Martinez and Ms. Carmen Recinos $894,245.00 and $782,650.00, respectively, for their discrimination and tort claims against their former employer Gali Services Industries Inc., et al.  ​On October 2, 2020, Judge Jackson found Gali Services Industries Inc., the GSI Group, Francisco J. Gali, Jr., and Francisco Gali, Sr., liable for subjecting Ms. Martinez and Ms. Recinos to sexual harassment and retaliation, and failing to take effective corrective action despite being aware of their supervisor’s egregious behavior. In the Court’s decision on liability, Judge Jackson also found the employer liable for negligent supervision, finding that, given that the Plaintiffs had reported harassment to their second-line supervisor, “defendants were on notice that [he] was dangerous and posed a threat to plaintiffs’ safety, and they therefore had a duty to adequately supervise him” and failed to do so.

Accordingly, the Court awarded Ms. Martinez and Ms. Recinos damages ​recognizing the serious harm inflicted by Defendants​, including $400,000 in punitive damages for each Plaintiff. ​In awarding significant punitive damages, the Court noted “​[a]ll of this was entirely preventable and directly attributable to defendants’ actions because the attacks occurred after plaintiffs placed their employer on notice of the predator on its payroll. Defendants chose to do nothing, which resulted in considerable harm to the plaintiffs.” ​The Court continued, “punitive damages are warranted in this case, especially “in light of [the supervisor’s] callous and intentional enabling of [the harasser’s] unacceptable and tortious behavior.” Represented Ms. Martinez and Ms. Recinos and are both thankful for the opportunity to support these courageous women in standing up for themselves and asserting their rights.