PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – The Department of Revenue for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will pay Nine Hundred Thousand Dollars ($900,000) to settle a nasty sexual harassment lawsuit filed in federal court in Harrisburg by long-time former employee Lynn McArthur, who alleged she was sexually harassed and assaulted by her former boss.
Attorney David Koller represented Ms. McArthur. Koller filed a complaint for Ms. McArthur in the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Ms. McArthur alleged that her supervisor, the head of the Department of Revenue in Harrisburg, abused his position and engaged in a host of egregious and sexually charged acts against Ms. McArthur over a period of time, often threatening Ms. McArthur that if she said something about it, he would fire her. Ultimately, conditions were so bad for Ms. McArthur that she had no choice but to quit a job she loved and worked at for over 18 years.
Mr. Koller commented on the settlement that, “It’s an imperfect system that can’t turn back the clock and erase what happened to Lynn. But, hopefully this result will help her be able to move forward with her life. I know what she went through and know that she deserves this result.”
Mr. Koller believes the case represents one of the largest, if not the largest, settlements ever against the government in a single plaintiff employment discrimination case in Pennsylvania. A big reason for the high value of the settlement was the claim for emotional distress. Koller hired two experts for Ms. McArthur to establish how she was harmed: a psychologist and an economist.
“I think the settlement shows that damages in the form of psychological harm and pain should be taken seriously in the court system. In my experience in our field, I have noticed that we tend to undervalue emotional distress that victims of sexual harassment, discrimination and violence suffer. Sometimes the most severe damage is not something you can see and take pictures of. It is my job, and our job as lawyers, to make it more visible and salient. Emotional pain and psychological harm should be taken seriously in sexual harassment and employment cases, and should be valued appropriately,” Koller said.
“I am proud of Lynn that she was brave enough to take action, and make the difficult decision to quit a job she needed. And on top of that, she was brave enough to trust me, a stranger, with a very important legal matter. I’m proud that she retained me as her counsel and we were able to achieve this result for her. My cases are not about me; they are about my clients: Lynn was a great client who I am proud I got to know and help.”
David Koller is an employment attorney who represents victims of sexual harassment and discrimination in all cities and suburbs of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and was president of his law school class and commencement speaker at Villanova University School of Law. A life-long resident of Philadelphia, he has dedicated his professional career to standing up for the rights of employees whose rights have been violated, and takes a unique personal approach with each case that makes clients feel comfortable and at ease during an otherwise stressful process.