Jury Awards Columbia Professor $1.25 Million in Retaliation Case

Katz, Marshall & Banks partner Debra Katz was quoted in a Law360 article, “Former Columbia Prof Gets $1.25M Retaliation Award.”

Enrichetta Ravina was a professor at Columbia University who was denied tenure after she complained that her colleague, Geert Bekaert, had sexually harassed her. On Friday, a Manhattan jury found that Ravina’s unsuccessful tenure bid was the result of retaliation, and awarded her $1.25 million.  Of that, $500,000 was a punitive damages award against Bekeart, while Columbia must pay Ravina $750,000 in compensatory damages.

The jury didn’t award Ravina the front or back pay that she sought, but the verdict was noteworthy because it included a “pretty hefty punitive award against an individual,” says Ms. Katz. “The jury clearly looked at his conduct and said it was unlawful and it warranted the imposition of punitive damages.”

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