A U.S. Magistrate, Judge Leslie G. Foschio, decided on June 10 that Hodgson Russ LLP would continue to be allowed to defend New York charter bus company, Carrier Coach Inc., and the company’s owner against accusations of sexual harassment.
A Carrier Coach Inc. employee, Jessica Grundstrom, had protested the firm’s involvement in the lawsuit, alleging that an attorney at Hodgson Russ might be an important witness in the case. The federal judge ruled that there was no evidence that created grounds for dismissing the firm’s involvement.
According to Grundstrom, she was approached by Carrier Coach Inc. owner Allen Miller, who offered her a job working at his company for $650 a week. Following her employment, Miller and Grundstrom began a sexual relationship during the course of which Miller allegedly threatened Grundstrom with a gun and told her if she spoke of the relationship she would be fired. The relationship was eventually terminated following what she viewed as continuing disturbing behavior displayed on the part of Miller.
Grundstrom filed a sexual harassment complaint with Carrier Coach Inc., which she claims the company did not look into. The plaintiff argued that she was later fired for issuing the complaint.
According to Grundstrom, an attorney at Hodgson Russ was present at a meeting where the plaintiff’s mother allegedly claimed Grundstrom’s harassment case was a lie, making him a potential witness. Hodgson Russ asserted that most of the topics of discussion at the meeting were unrelated to the plaintiff’s complaint.
Judge Faschio ruled that the firm could continue representing Miller, stating that there was no evidence showing that the Hodgson Russ attorney in question had relevant knowledge pertaining to the parties’ relationship. She continued by stating that she saw no reason the attorney would be called as a witness, as the defendant and plaintiff’s mother were both available to testify. Therefore, Grundstrom’s bid to remove the firm was rendered groundless, and the case will move forward as planned.
If you believe you have been unfairly terminated from your job, speak with Steve Kardell at Whistleblower Law for Managers.