Judge Denies New Trial in Evans Fruit Case

Jul 22, 2013

Related Practices: Agriculture and Employment

In the latest development in a push by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to pursue sexual harassment allegations against Evans Fruit, a federal judge refused to grant plaintiffs a new trial. In April employment attorneys Brendan Monahan, Carolyn Cairns, Justo Gonzalez and Sarah Wixson successfully defended apple grower Evans Fruit against sexual harassment and retaliation claims brought by the EEOC. Stokes Lawrence is the only firm in the United States to win against the EEOC at trial in the past year.

A nine-member jury unanimously rejected allegations brought by the EEOC on behalf of 14 female employees who claimed they were subjected to a culture of unwanted sexual advances. The court later granted summary judgment against claims that the company had retaliated against employees who were assisting in an EEOC investigation.

"The jury took its role very seriously and came to the unanimous and reasoned conclusion that no sexually hostile work environment existed at Evans Fruit," Monahan was quoted as saying in an article posted on Law360. "In all candor, we found the EEOC's effort to attack the jury's verdict a bit puzzling. Its motion for a new trial simply ignored the voluminous testimony and evidence that supported the jury's findings." Read more (subscription required).