Utility appeals loss in sexual harassment case

JACKSON, Mich. (AP) -- Consumers Energy is appealing a $300,000 verdict and thousands more in legal fees after a woman won a sexual harassment lawsuit.

A federal judge in Grand Rapids recently awarded $684,000 in fees to Theresa Waldo's lawyers. The case was filed in 2006 and went through two trials. Waldo said she was a victim of repeated harassment by men in the utility's transmission lines department.

There was evidence that Waldo was required to climb transmission towers on a cold, windy day without proper safety equipment. She also was told to clean the tobacco spit of male co-workers. Judge Janet Neff says the jury found the company's customs "outrageous."

The judge says Consumers Energy's defense was "constant obstruction and no concessions." The utility filed an appeal notice last week.

Published: Fri, May 4, 2012

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