Last Updated 15 Apr 2020

Anucha Browne Sanders vs Madison Square Graden

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The executive, Anucha Browne Sanders, has asked for an additional $9. 6 million in compensatory damages, which the judge will decide on in the coming weeks. The Garden and Mr. Thomas said they would appeal. Ms. Browne Sanders accused Mr. Thomas of verbally abusing and sexually harassing her over a two-year period. Less than a month after she formally complained to the Garden, the company chairman, James L. Dolan, fired her. In court, the Garden cited numerous explanations for the dismissal, including poor job performance and the claim that she had interfered with the Garden’s internal investigation of her accusations.

Ms. Browne Sanders, who wept when the decision was read, described her victory as important for “the women who don’t have the means and couldn’t possibly have done what I was able to do,” and for “everybody that cares about working in a civil work environment. ” Mr. Thomas emerged from the courthouse and said, “I want to say it as loud as I possibly can: I am innocent; I am very innocent. I did not do the things that she accused me in the courtroom of doing. ” Patting his chest for emphasis, he added, “I am extremely disappointed that the jury did not see the facts in this case.

I will appeal this. ” The sordid four-week trial was the latest chapter in the story of a once-respected N. B. A. franchise. During Mr. Thomas’s nearly four-year tenure as president and now coach, the team has spent millions on free agents without any progress toward a championship. And still to come, the Garden faces a second sexual harassment trial brought by a former Rangers cheerleader against team officials. The Garden was ordered to pay $6 million for subjecting Ms. Browne Sanders to a hostile work environment and another $2. million for firing her in retaliation. The jury ordered that Mr. Dolan pay $3 million for the retaliation. In his testimony, Mr. Dolan said that he alone made the decision to fire her. Mr. Dolan had no comment on the verdict or the award. Although found liable, Mr. Thomas will not have to pay any of the punitive damages for sexually harassing Ms. Browne Sanders with unwanted sexual advances. One holdout on the seven-member jury kept the panel from holding him financially responsible for the harassment. The juror Sally Anne Foster, 49, of Cortlandt Manor, N. Y. said it was just “different personality traits” among the jurors that led them to hold Mr. Dolan, not Mr. Thomas, financially liable for Ms. Browne Sanders’s claims. Asked if she believed Mr. Dolan’s testimony, Ms. Foster said: “I can’t say. I’m not a psychiatrist. ” United States District Court Judge Gerard E. Lynch is expected to make a decision as early as next month on compensatory damages for Ms. Browne Sanders, a formerNorthwestern University basketball star and mother of three, who was fired in January 2006 from her $260,000-a-year job as the Knicks’ senior vice president of marketing.

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She said that the firing by Mr. Dolan led her to search for more than year to find her current job as the associate athletic director at the State University of New York at Buffalo, at about half her salary with the Knicks. The trial painted Mr. Thomas as the foul-mouthed president of basketball operations who clashed with Ms. Browne Sanders about their executive responsibilities. It featured testimony about sex between the team’s star,Stephon Marbury, and a Knicks intern in his truck; a slipshod internal Garden investigation of Ms. Browne Sanders’s claims; and the hiring of Mr.

Marbury’s cousin and a boyfriend of Mr. Dolan’s stepdaughter as Knicks employees. The trial and the verdicts exposed more concern about the state of the Knicks, and the Garden, under Mr. Dolan’s leadership. Mr. Thomas stepped in to coach after Mr. Dolan fired Larry Brown, who received an $18. 5 million contract settlement during an arbitration by N. B. A. Commissioner David Stern. The Garden refused to settle the case against Ms. Browne Sanders, exposing the organization to ridicule in newspapers and in television reports. But the verdicts will not lead to sanctions by the league.

Although the league penalizes players, coaches and team owners for criminal infractions, said Tim Frank, the league’s vice president for basketball communications, “Our policies do not encompass civil litigation. ” The claims that Ms. Browne Sanders made against Mr. Thomas appeared to come down to a test of her credibility as a little-known executive against his celebrity standing and Hall of Fame status. Her claims that he repeatedly referred to her as a “bitch” and made unwanted advances had little corroboration from witnesses. Still, they stood up to a barrage of testimony by witnesses for Mr.

Thomas and the Garden that her job performance had dramatically floundered in 2005. “If this was something I made up, it would have been a lot juicier,” Ms. Browne Sanders said in an interview. After the verdict, Mr. Thomas left for the Knicks’ training camp in Charleston, S. C. , where he arrived later in the afternoon. Ms. Browne Sanders gathered with her legal team and relatives for a prayer circle outside the courthouse. In its statement, the Garden said, “We look forward to presenting our arguments to an appeals court and believe they will agree that no sexual harassment took place. Carl Tobias, a professor at the University of Richmond Law School and a former civil litigator, doubted the appeal would succeed. “The jury heard the facts and it is unusual that an appeals court would overturn a jury finding which was so fact-intensive,” he said in a telephone interview. “There isn’t much basis unless there was a legal error, and Judge Lynch has a very good reputation for making sure his cases are fairly and properly tried. ” Tobias said that the jury not holding Mr. Thomas financially liable “is not a large enough inconsistency that could have this overturned. ”

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Anucha Browne Sanders vs Madison Square Graden. (2018, Jun 28). Retrieved from

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