Recent Sexual Harassment Awards Show How Legal System Empowers the Powerless

Two recent court decisions in high profile sexual harassment cases show just how seriously the system takes this crime and demonstrates clearly to victims of office wrongdoing that they’re not alone and that they have recourse. Violations of basic human dignity should not be tolerated, and the legal system, when leveraged effectively, can get bad behaviors to stop and compel fair compensation for mistreatment.

The two cases below illustrate how victims can prevail in court, even when predators are powerful – e.g. a high ranking city official and a well known sports network.

Detroit Councilman’s Unacceptable Behavior Leads to 6 Figure Award

A jury in Detroit recently awarded a 20-year-old man $250,000 in a lawsuit against former city councilman, Charles Pugh. The plaintiff charged Pugh with inappropriate conduct. While participating in a high school mentorship, the plaintiff suffered an array of alleged indignities, including unacceptable touching that reportedly escalated when Pugh paid the teenager $160 to make a video of himself masturbating.

ESPN on the Losing End of Harassment Suit

In another recent case, a former ESPN makeup artist received a settlement of an undisclosed amount for a claim against the sports network. She alleged NFL host Chris Berman made inappropriate comments and sent crass text messages in the makeup room. ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz downplayed the issue, saying in a statement, “Our thorough investigation revealed the harassment claims had no merit. We settled it solely to save a considerable amount of time and litigation costs.” Some speculate the network agreed to a settlement to avoid an embarrassing court fight.

The experienced attorneys at Joseph & Kirschenbaum LLP can help you understand your rights and options in a potential sexual harassment case. You don’t need to continue to suffer. Call us today at 1 (212) 688-5640, or email us at, to schedule a free intake evaluation.

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