Julianna Trika v. Pooches of Largo & Pet Retailers, Inc.
A Florida state court judge awarded attorney fees to Dhillon Law Group client Pooches of Naples, which operates a Petland franchise in Naples, Florida.
The former employee inadvertently received a picture of her now-terminated manager’s genitals via text. The order ends a two-year dispute over a “penis pic” with the 18-year-old Plaintiff facing over $100,000 in attorney fees and costs.
Both the former employee and the former manager were off duty at the time. The former manager vehemently denied intentionally sending the former employee any graphic text message.
The former employee immediately quit her job without making any complaint. When the company found out about the incident days later, the company immediately suspended and then terminated the manager. The former employee sued for sexual harassment under the Florida Civil Rights Act, as well as for negligent hiring, supervision, and retention.
On the eve of the summary judgment hearing, the Plaintiff dismissed all claims except the sexual harassment claim. The trial court then granted final summary judgment on the sexual harassment claim ruling that the isolated incident was not objectively severe under Title VII’s jurisprudence.
“After nearly 2 years of unnecessary litigation, the court not only dismissed all counts with prejudice but took the extraordinary step of awarding my client its attorney fees finding the case to be baseless and groundless,” said Dhillon Law Group Partner Matthew Sarelson.
“We will be seeking more than $100,000 in fees unless we can reach an agreement. As the court correctly noted, we repeatedly offered Ms. Trika a mutual walkaway that would allow her to end the lawsuit without owing my client a penny, but she always declined.”