Court Strikes Extraneous Matter Regarding (e.g.) Prostitution From Answer to Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

In her New York State Supreme Court sexual harassment lawsuit, captioned Toktassynova v. Adam Victor et al (NY Sup. Ct. NY Cty. Index # 162327/2014) and filed March 12, 2015 (NYSCEF Doc. No. 22), plaintiff asserts various claims – including sexual harassment, hostile work environment, and retaliation – against defendant Adam H. Victor and various entities. The NY Post wrote about the case here.

Plaintiff moved under CPLR 3024(b) to strike various portions of defendants’ Answer (namely, ¶¶ 72, 376, 389-90, 431, and 522). In her supporting brief (NYSCEF Doc. No. 61), plaintiff argues:

[The] Answer includes several awkwardly-inserted allegations that [Plaintiff] had worked as a prostitute and that another former employee who is suing the Defendants for sexual harassment is an extortionist and thief, who had been “rescued” from a brothel by Victor. Defendants’ allegations are obviously prejudicial to Plaintiff and they do not relate at all to allegations to which they purportedly respond.

For example, plaintiff’s complaint ¶ 72 alleges:

Victor involved himself in [an] apartment search [by plaintiff and another employee of Defendants], recommending brokers, and going to see apartments with them.”

Defendants’ Answer, in turn, responds:

Admit, and state that [plaintiff] informed Victor that she accumulated sufficient funds from her previous work as a prostitute in order to pay an approximately $8,000 security deposit for her new apartment in cash.

New York Supreme Court Justice Hagler granted plaintiff’s motion to the extent of striking the portions of defendants’ answer that were not in conformity with CPLR 3018(a), reasoning that the additional information was “wholly improper and irrelevant to the questions posed.”

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