Friday, February 11, 2005

$2.25 Million Verdict in Maryland DV/Workplace Tort Case

On February 10, 2005, a jury came back with a verdict in the amount of $2,250,000, in Gantt v. Security, USA, a domestic violence/workplace violence case.

Because the 4th Circuit opinion allowed only recovery for the 1 hour that Ms. Gantt spent on Post 9, before Gary Sheppard abducted her, raped her and held her captive for six hours, threatening to kill her with his shotgun,and due to evidentiary rulings by the trial court, the trial was cut back from its originally scheduled two week period to 2 days.

The jury awarded $2,000,000 in compensatory damages and $250,000 in punitives. The case is Gantt v.Security, USA, 356 F.3d 547 (4th Cir. 2004). It has received press coverage and discussion on numerous EEO and employment websites, as well as mention in the Maryland Code Annotated and other legal commentaries.

The case has sparked controversy about an employer's obligation to honor and enforce protective orders in the workplace, even though, in this highly unusual case, Dominique's supervisor actually intentionally assisted the batterer in violating the protective order in the worplace, which is why her lawyers are suing for intentional infliction of emotional distress.

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