Defaulted employer in woman's sexual harassment claim is entitled to jury assessment of damages
Joyce Collins sued Anchor Senior Medical Services and Vasan H. Deshikachar, alleging sexual harassment. Deshikachar filed for bankruptcy and when the stay was lifted, he repeatedly violated and ignored legitimate discovery. The trial court warned and fined Deshikachar, before eventually entering a default judgment against him. The court determined that Collins was entitled to $500,000.00 in damages and Deshikachar appealed.The Appeals Court upheld the default, finding that the defendant's conduct exhibited a "pattern of failure to comply..." and an effort to "manipulate the system." Since the violations were willful, default was appropriate, however, the violations and the default did not invalidate the Defendant's Jury Demand. The Court should hot have assigned a value to the claim and the defendant remained entitled to a jury trial with regard to the amount of damages to be awarded.