Jury Awards San Diego Firefighters $34,300 in Harrassment Suit

firefighterstwoThey didn’t deserve a penny, but a San Diego jury awarded the four San Diego firefighters who filed a sexual harassment suit against the San Diego Fire Department after being assigned to drive the fire truck along last year’s San Diego Pride Parade route, $34,300 for their troubles. They had originally asked for $1,000,000 each.

The San Diego Union-Tribune writes:

” Jurors deliberated for about two-and-a-half days before reaching the verdict Tuesday in the case brought by firefighters John Ghiotto, Jason Hewitt, Alex Kane and Chad Allison. The firemen said they were subjected to sexually charged conduct and lewd comments while riding a fire engine in the July 2007 parade.

City attorneys said they will appeal the verdict.

Jurors were required to determine if the firefighters faced pervasive or severe harassment from spectators and participants.

Nancy Chiquete, the jury foreperson, said reaching the decision was “not easy,” particularly because she said she lives in the city and knows its financial situation is not good.

But, Chiquete said, “I felt truly like these four men were wronged by the situation.” The case was first heard in September but that jury was unable to reach a verdict on the sexual harassment claim…

The firefighters’ attorney, Charles LiMandri, said he and his clients were pleased.

“We won on every issue. This is what we’ve been fighting for. It’s what we’ve been working for. It’s been what we’ve been hoping for,” LiMandri said.

He acknowledged that the awarded damages were low, but said that wasn’t surprising given the poor state of the economy. “