A 17-year-old teenager and her guardians received a high paying victory for an employment case that was not only sexual harassment but also dubbed “sexual molestation.” The plaintiff, identified only as S.W. due to her age, sued employer U.S. Metro Group through her guardian.
Plaintiff, who was 15 at the time of the incidents, began working for U.S. Metro Group to help pay for an expensive cheerleader uniform. An employee of the company, Luis Morales, knew the plaintiff needed money because she was friends with Morales' daughter. Morales was the one who offered plaintiff the job at the cleaning company. The plaintiff accepted the offer and began working with Morales at his night job cleaning buildings.
It was at that point plaintiff alleges Morales took advantage of her, “exploiting her sexually.” Morales has been criminally prosecuted for these charges as well. The company responded to the plaintiff's position by stating that the plaintiff was never a formal employee of the company. Company policy forbids minors and non-employees from being brought to job sites, and U.S. Metro Group had no knowledge of Morales bringing the plaintiff to his job. In fact, both plaintiff and Morales kept the situation a secret from the company.
The plaintiff sued in January 2013 for the following claims: sexual assault and battery; sexual harassment; failure to prevent harassment; negligence; negligent hiring and training; and infliction of emotional distress.
A jury on March 20, 2015, decided in the plaintiff's favor, finding Morales 40 percent negligent and the company 60 percent. The plaintiff was awarded $150,000 for economic damages and $2.5 million for non-economic damages adding up to $2.65 million in an overall award.
Source: Daily Journal