A 22-year old Central American janitor, working in a food manufacturing plant, was harassed by his male supervisor, who lured him into a bathroom, locked the door, and forced the janitor to orally copulate him. The supervisor threatened that the janitor would be fired if he told anyone, and that he would not be believed anyway. After this pattern continued for some months, plaintiff finally gathered the nerve to complain to his supervisor's boss, who told him to "keep quiet" and that he would get the abuse to stop. The abuse didn't stop. Plaintiff became withdrawn and depressed, and finally broke down and told the story to some co-workers, who encouraged him to seek legal help.
Winer, McKenna & Burritt demonstrated defendants' bad conduct was sufficient to justify a punitive damages award at trial, and thus negotiated a settlement.