Sunday, June 19, 2011

Illinois jury awards $95 million in sex-harassment suit

A federal jury in Illinois has awarded $95 million to a woman who said she was the victim of a sexual harassment campaign that culminated when her boss allegedly threw her down on a couch and masturbated on her chest.

After nearly three days of deliberations, jurors in the Southern District of Illinois federal court concluded Wednesday that Ashley Alford, who worked in a branch of Aaron's Inc. -- a nationwide chain of rent-to-own furniture stores -- should receive $15 million in compensatory damages and $80 million in punitive damages.

However, he said the judge will reduce the award on the federal claim because of statutory limits. All told, he said it's likely that at least $43 million will be collectible.

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