For the second time this calendar year, a Los Angeles jury ordered an employer to pay $11 million to an employee who claimed to have been sexually harassed. And, once again, the amount of punitive damages ($8 million) dwarfed the amount of compensatory damages ($3.1 million) by a margin of more than two-to-one.
On Friday, the jury ruled against Alki David, a hologram producer who creates holograms of celebrities, and sided with one of his former employees, Chastity Jones. Jones alleged that David touched her inappropriately, brought a stripper into the workplace, and showed her pornographic videos. She testified that she was fired for refusing to have sex with David.
The trial was exceptionally intense, with David being escorted out of the courtroom by a deputy sheriff due to his outbursts, at one point calling plaintiff’s attorney Lisa Bloom (who happens to be the daughter of attorney Gloria Allred) “an abhorrent woman.” He continued, “Do something with your life, woman,” and “you have no morals.”
The jury awarded Jones $11 million – in response to which David exclaimed, “Ridiculous…I’m not paying it.”
Another former employee, Elizabeth Taylor, has made similar allegations of sexual harassment against David in a case that is set for trial in July…