Jury Awards $1 Million for Sexual Harassment Against Atlantic Automotive
ROCKVILLE, MD–(Marketwire – February 29, 2008) – A jury in the Circuit Court of Montgomery County, Maryland yesterday rendered a verdict of $1 million in a re-trial against Mile One – Herb Gordon – Tischer – Atlantic Automotive for having a sexually hostile work environment in the case Sterling v. Atlantic Automotive Corporation.
While working for Tischer Subaru as a service advisor from May 2001 to March 2002, Gail Sterling was subjected to sexual harassment by her supervisor, Jay Sponseller. Judge Nelson W. Rupp, Jr. presided over the three-day trial. Mrs. Sterling was represented by R. Scott Oswald and Adam Augustine Carter of The Employment Law Group in Washington, D.C. Atlantic Automotive was represented by Craig Ballew and Tracey McLauchlin of the Baltimore firm, Ferguson, Schetelich & Ballew, P.A.
In 2004, Mrs. Sterling won a jury verdict of $195,000 on this same claim which was reduced to $100,000 by the original trial judge Michael Mason. He also awarded an additional $350,500 in attorneys’ fees and costs against Atlantic Automotive, who appealed that verdict and won a retrial for a single defective jury instruction.
“This verdict is a tremendous vindication of the abuse suffered by Gail Sterling at the Mile One car dealership in Silver Spring. It sends a strong message to employers that they can be held responsible for failing to protect employees from ongoing harassment,” said Mr. Carter. “The jury’s compensation took into consideration the emotional distress that Gail Sterling suffered when her supervisor preyed upon her, and the failure of her employer who kept the supervisor in a position to continue his pattern of abuse even after she filed a complaint.”
“We are so pleased for our client, and especially proud of the way she has continued to fight all these years for a workplace that is free of discrimination,” said Mr. Oswald. “We are privileged to represent such a courageous woman.”