Punitive Damages

In Antoine v. Brooklyn Maids 26, Inc. et al, 19-cv-5676, 2020 WL 5752186 (E.D.N.Y. Sept. 26, 2020), the court, inter alia, awarded a sexual harassment plaintiff $375,000 in punitive damages (on default). This case involves shocking allegations of sexual harassment (which included, in the court’s description, conduct that was “tantamout to rape”). The reader is…

Read More $375,000 Punitive Damages Award to Sexual Harassment Plaintiff
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In Small v. Cuer, 2020 WL 2215585 (2d Cir. May 7, 2020) (Summary Order), a sexual harassment case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed a lower court ruling that, inter alia, largely upheld a substantial jury award in plaintiff’s favor for emotional distress and punitive damages. The jury had awarded $1.55…

Read More 2d Circuit Upholds Substantial Emotional Distress and Punitive Damages Awards in Sexual Harassment Case
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Effective October 11, 2019, the New York State Human Rights Law permits an award of punitive damages in certain employment discrimination cases. The relevant section is codified at NYS Executive Law § 297(4)(c), which provides: If, upon all the evidence at the hearing, the commissioner shall find that a respondent has engaged in any unlawful…

Read More NYS Human Rights Law Provides for Punitive Damages in Certain Employment Cases
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In Ravina v. Columbia University and Geert Bekaert, 16-cv-2137, 2019 WL 1450449 (S.D.N.Y. March 31, 2019), a sexual harassment/retaliation case, the court – in addition to denying defendant’s motion for judgment as a matter of law on plaintiff’s retaliation claim – next evaluated the jury’s damage awards to plaintiff ($750,000 in emotional distress damages, $500,000…

Read More Court Remits Punitive Damages Award, from $500,000 to $250,000, in Sexual Harassment/Retaliation Case Against Columbia University
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In Duarte v. St. Barnabas Hospital, 15-CV-6824, 2018 WL 4440501 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 17, 2018) – a disability discrimination case – the court held, inter alia, that a jury award of $750,000 for punitive damages was too high, and that $125,000 was more appropriate. The court explained, inter alia, that “[u]nder the [New York City Human Rights…

Read More Court Explains Remittitur of $750,000 Punitive Damages Award in Disability Discrimination Case
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A federal (EDNY / Brooklyn) jury recently awarded several employees a collective $5.1 million in damages against a health insurance company that, the plaintiffs claimed, forced them to follow the practices of an obscure religion called “Onionhead.” (I wrote about the lawsuit’s filing here.) The verdict sheet (below) reflects, inter alia, that the jury awarded…

Read More EDNY Jury Awards $5.1M in “Onionhead” Religious Discrimination Case [EEOC v. United Health Programs of America]
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In Chauca v. Abraham, 2018 WL 1352351 (2d Cir. March 16, 2018), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that the district court erred in declining to submit the question of punitive damages to the jury under the New York City Human Rights Law. In a prior opinion,[1]Chauca v. Abraham, 841 F.3d…

Read More 2d Circuit: Lower Court Mistakenly Applied Higher Standard for Punitive Damages Under the NYC Human Rights Law
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In Suarez v. Mosaic Sales Solutions US Operating Co., LLC, 2018 WL 357540 (2d Cir. 17-2344 Jan. 11, 2018), the Second Circuit affirmed the dismissal of plaintiff’s claim under the New York City Fair Chance Act, N.Y.C. Admin. Code § 8-107(11)(a), based on defendant’s failure to follow certain procedures before rescinding plaintiff’s job offer after discovering,…

Read More 2d Circuit Affirms Dismissal of NYC Fair Chance Act Claim; Amount-in-Controversy Element Not Satisfied
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In Chauca v. Abraham, 2017 NY Slip Op 08158, 2017 WL 5557932 (N.Y. Nov. 20, 2017), the New York Court of Appeals – answered a certified question from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit – regarding the appropriate standard applicable for when punitive damages may be awarded under the New York City Human…

Read More New York’s Highest Court Clarifies Standard for Punitive Damages Under the New York City Human Rights Law
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In Creacy v. BCBG Max Azria Grp., LLC, No. 14 CIV. 10008 (ER), 2017 WL 1216580 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 31, 2017), the court denied defendant’s motion for summary judgment as to her hostile work environment and constructive discharge claims. In sum, plaintiff asserts that defendant subjected her to a racially hostile work environment, retaliated against her, and…

Read More Customer-Caused Race Discrimination/Hostile Work Environment Claims Survive Summary Judgment
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