Legal news for New Jersey personal injury attorneys – Middlesex County sheriff’s agree to $1.6 million settlement for sexual harassment lawsuit filed in May 2006.
Two women to receive $752,500, plus lawyer fees in sexual harassment settlement.
Middlesex, NJ (www.NewYorkInjuryNews.com) – Middlesex County agreed to a $1.59 million settlement Tuesday, April 20, 2010 as retribution to two former sheriff’s officers’ sexual harassment accusations, as reported by NJ.com.
This settlement marks the second large payout for the same department in less than a year.
The county freeholders agreed to settle the lawsuit one day before the trial was due to begin in U.S. District Court in Newark.
Officers Joan Ivan and Angel Jazikoff claimed they were subjected to endless sexual propositions, innuendos and lewd, offensive behavior.
Ivan served as an officer from 1999 to 2003. While the department claimed she was fired because she failed to pass a service weapon qualification test, Ivan’s attorney claims her dismissal was in retaliation to the lawsuit.
Jazikoff was an officer from 2000 to 2006. She retired on disability.
The women filed suit together in April 2006.
The lawsuit, that was to begin Wednesday, April 21, 2010, named several defendants, including Sheriff Joseph Spicuzzo, who was accused of failing to discipline officers after reports of harassment came in. In defense, Spicuzzo said he addressed harassment complaints.
But, according to court documents, in March 2002, then county personnel Director Thomas Cross directed Spicuzzo to take action against an officer accused of harassment. The officer that was to be reprimanded was told no actions would be taken against him, though.
The settlement pays Ivan and Jazikoff a total of $752,500. Another $837,500 will go to attorney fees.
Even after reaching a settlement, the sheriff’s department “admits no wrongdoing.”
Legal News Reporter: Tara Monks – Legal news for New Jersey personal injury lawyers.