Question: Jerrie Gray worked at a Tyson Foods plant where she

Jerrie Gray worked at a Tyson Foods plant where she was exposed to comments, gestures, and physical contact that, she alleged, constituted sexual harassment. Tyson disputed the allegation, arguing that the behavior was not unwelcome, that they complained about conduct was not based on sex, that the conduct did not affect a term, condition, or privilege of employment, and that proper remedial action was taken in response to any complaint by Gray of sexual harassment. During the trial in federal court, a witness for Gray repeatedly volunteered inadmissible testimony that the judge had to tell the jury to disregard. At one point, upon an objection from the defendant's counsel, the witness asked, "May I say something here?" The judge told her she could not. Finally, after the jury left the courtroom, the witness had an angry outburst that continued into the hallway, in view of some of the jurors. The jury awarded Gray $185,000 in compensatory and $800,000 in punitive damages. Tyson believed that it should not have been liable, that the awards of damages were excessive and unsupported by evidence, and that the inadmissible evidence and improper conduct had tainted the proceedings. What courses of action may Tyson pursue?

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  • CreatedJuly 16, 2014
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