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Federal judge sets aside $3.5 million jury award in Takoma Aquatic Center sexual harassment case

Chief U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth has set aside a $3.5 million jury award in the Takoma Aquatic Center sexual harassment case.

The jury had awarded former Takoma Aquatic Center lifeguard Carmen Jean-Baptiste $3.5 million after finding that she was subjected to a sexually hostile work environment by her boss, Rodney Weaver, and then fired in retaliation for complaining to management about the sexual harassment.

According to Jean-Baptiste, Weaver made repeated vulgar comments to her and asked her out on dates. Jean-Baptiste allegedly complained to six different managers, but the harassment did not stop.

Jean-Baptiste was then fired shortly after she filed a written complaint about the sexual harassment in October 2006.

Judge Lamberth wrote that although Weaver’s alleged conduct is “no doubt disgusting and extremely troubling,” the $3.5 million jury award was “inordinately large.”

The judge is giving Jean-Baptiste the option of accepting a reduced $350,000 award or beginning a new trial on the issue of the damages.

Jean-Baptiste has not yet informed the judge of her decision.

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Federal judge sets aside $3.5 million jury award in Takoma Aquatic Center sexual harassment case
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