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November 2017

Atlanta Team Prevails with a Complete Defense Verdict in Harassment Case

Atlanta partner Chad Shultz and associate Julia Glasgow obtained a complete defense verdict for their client, an airline, after a nine-day jury trial in the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming.  Atlanta partner Leslie Eason and Denver partner John Keen provided invaluable assistance during the pre-trial phase of the case.

The plaintiff, a former employee of defendant airline, alleged he had been subjected to numerous incidents of sexual harassment throughout his employment.  He was fired in January 2011 after he became involved in an argument with a co-worker.  The plaintiff filed suit, asserting claims including sex-based hostile work environment, retaliation, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. 

The Gordon & Rees team prevailed at summary judgment in September 2015, obtaining a complete dismissal of the case seven days before the original trial date. The plaintiff appealed. The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the district court’s grant of summary judgment as to all claims and remanded the case for further proceedings.  Hansen v. SkyWest Airlines, 844 F.3d 914 (10th Cir. 2016).

At the close of the plaintiff’s case, the Court granted Gordon & Rees’s motion for judgment as a matter of law with respect to the plaintiff’s quid pro quo, punitive damages, and intentional infliction of emotional distress claims. The sexual harassment and retaliation claims remained for the jury’s consideration.  After a nine-day trial and lengthy deliberation, the jury rendered a defense verdict on all claims.

Leslie K. Eason
Julia C. Glasgow
Chad A. Shultz