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…

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Photo of Tony Oncidi Tony Oncidi

Anthony J. Oncidi heads the Labor & Employment Law Group in the Los Angeles office.

Tony represents employers and management in all aspects of labor relations and employment law, including litigation and preventive counseling, wage and hour matters, including class actions, wrongful termination, employee discipline, Title VII and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, executive employment contract disputes, sexual harassment training and investigations, workplace violence, drug testing and privacy issues, Sarbanes-Oxley claims and employee raiding and trade secret protection. A substantial portion of Tony’s practice involves the defense of employers in large class actions, employment discrimination, harassment and wrongful termination litigation in state and federal court as well as arbitration proceedings, including FINRA matters.

Photo of Cole Lewis Cole Lewis

Cole Lewis is an associate in the Labor & Employment Department.

Cole graduated from UCLA School of Law, where he worked as a law clerk for Public Counsel of Los Angeles and advocated for benefit recipients in the Department of Public Social Services. He has also previously worked as a summer associate in Proskauer’s Labor & Employment Department.

Prior to law school, Cole received his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism at Indiana University, where he graduated cum laude.