Friday, July 18, 2003

Fourth Circuit en banc reverses Ocheltree panel decision by vote of 10-2

In Ocheltree v. Scollon Productions, Inc., the Fourth Circuit sitting en banc upheld the liability for the plaintiff in a Title VII sexual harassment case but reversed the award of punitive damages. Judge Michael wrote the opinion for the majority, with Judge Niemeyer concurring in the result. Judge Williams dissented, joined by Judge Widener.

This is certainly a nasty enough case for me to say it is not obvious that there was not a jury question on the disputed elements. If I understand the history, without the punitive damages, the plaintiff was awarded compensatory damages of $7,280.

$7,280! Plus, I'm guessing, $400,000 to cover both sides attorneys' fees and litigation costs?

UPDATE - How Appealing has this post with many links about the decision in this case.

No comments: