March 2, 2012

Sacramento jury awards $125 million in punitive damages against hospital for sexual harassment

The LA Times is reporting that a jury in federal district court in Sacramento has awarded $42.7 million in compensatory damages and $125 million in punitive damages against Catholic Healthcare West.  The lawsuit involves allegations of sexual harassment and retaliation against a physician's assistant at Sacramento's Mercy General Hospital. 

The article says the combined $168 million award is believed to be the largest award for a single victim of workplace harassment in U.S. history.  The plaintiff's attorney is quoted as conceding that the amount of the award is likely to be reduced. 

Sacramento juries have been doling out some big punitive damages awards in recent years, including awards of  $28 million and $10 million in 2010, but this one is in a different level of the atmosphere.