Community College Secretary Claims Sexual Harassment And Rape From Dean

The following blog entry is written to illustrate an example of a sexual harassment case. Reviewing this kind of lawsuit should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this sexual harassment case and its proceedings.)

INJURIES: Armian made an unspecified demand for past and future emotional distress and wage loss.


From 2007 to 2009, plaintiff Natalie Armian, late 20s/early 30s, a secretary at XYZ College, was allegedly sexually harassed by John Samson, 70s, who was then the interim dean of fine arts.

Armian sued XYZ, Samson and Samson’s boss, Fred Amy, the vice president for academic affairs, for sexual harassment under the California Fair Housing and Employment Act.

According to the complaint, Samson hugged Armian for “an uncomfortably long time” when they were first introduced in March 2007, making sure that his body rubbed against her breasts.

On Sept. 14, 2007, Armian was driving Samson to a surprise birthday party at a restaurant, when he allegedly groped her and pushed his head into her groin area, suggesting that they go to a hotel. He also patted her on the head, plaintiff’s counsel asserted.

On Sept. 15, Samson raped Armian, she claimed.

According to plaintiff’s counsel, in August 2009, Samson presented Armian with two performance evaluations. One was negative; the other was positive. He then started rubbing Armian’s legs and asked her to make a decision about her which review she preferred.

Plaintiff’s counsel asserted that Armian filed several complaints with XYZ’s human resources department, but the department never responded.

Armian also claimed that Amy’s unfair treatment of her preceded Samson’s hiring. She alleged that Amy forced Samson’s predecessor to give her negative performance reviews.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

The defense did not dispute that Samson and Armian engaged in sexual relations, but insisted that they were consensual.

The defense also contended that the HR department received and addressed many complaints from Armian about other co-workers, but insisted that she never made a claim against Samson.

The defense contended that had the HR department been aware of the allegations, it would have taken immediate action to prevent any further harassment.

She also sought punitive damages.

XYZ’s board of directors agreed to pay the settlement in January 2011.

RESULT: Mediated Settlement
Award Total: $2,500,000
The case settled for $2.5 million. Samson must contribute $25,000 to the recovery, while XYZ is to pay $833,000. The community college’s insurer will pay most of the balance.

As part of the settlement, Armian quit her job and agreed to never apply for a job at XYZ again.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

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