Chattanooga Woman Wins Over $2 Million Judgment In Sexual Harassment Case

Saturday, February 3, 2018

A Chattanooga woman has won a judgment of over $2 million in a sexual harassment complaint filed against a Kingsport, Tn., funeral home.

Andrea Herring was represented by Chattanooga attorneys Donna Mikel and Doug Hamill. The case was filed in Chattanooga, but was heard in GreenevillIe.

The jury awarded Ms. Herring $300,000 in compensatory damages related to sexual harassment by an employee of East Lawn Funeral Home, which is owned by SCI.

The panel then returned a judgment of $1,750,000 for punitive damages.

The lawsuit said while Ms. Herring was employed as a family services counselor at the funeral home, she was sexually harassed by the funeral director, Tim Stinnett.

It says Stinnett, who is still employed by SCI at Sherwood Funeral Home in Alcoa, Tn., exposed Ms. Herring and other female employees to sexual jokes, sexual comments, invitations for sex, and inappropriate touching.

The suit says Ms. Herring was changing clothes in the employee bathroom when Stinnett procured a key and opened the door to watch her change. It says she was terrified and humiliated.

She reported it through the chain of command, but SCI did not respond appropriately, according to the complaint. Instead, it labeled Stinnett’s behavior as “juvenile” and did not discipline him at all, it was stated.

The HR department at SCI never interviewed him and never placed any document concerning it in Stinnett’s personnel file, the jury was told.

Ms. Herring put her complaints in writing to SCI and finally filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission after she was retaliated against and terminated, it was stated.

The trial began Tuesday to an 8-person jury in front of United States District Court Judge Ronnie Greer. 

Attorney Mikel said it is one of the largest single-plaintiff employment law verdicts in this district. 

She said she and attorney Hamill "were both thrilled that the jury determined it was time for SCI to take serious its obligations under the law to protect employees from sexual harassment."

Conasauga's Bert Poston Named State's District Attorney Of The Year

Bert Poston of the Conasauga Judicial Circuit has been named District Attorney of the Year for 2018 during the 2018 Summer Conference sponsored July  22 - 25,  on Jekyll Island by the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia (PAC). Each year during the conference, held at the Jekyll Island Convention Center, the District Attorneys Association of Georgia presents ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: BAILEY, KYLIA DESHAE  1924 ROBBINS ST CHATTANOOGA, 37404  Age at Arrest: 22 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga THEFT OF PROPERTY CRIMINAL TRESPASSING --- BAKER, ROBERT EMILIO  8366 OLD LEE HWY CHATTANOONGA, 37363  Age at Arrest: 27 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County ... (click for more)

Thank You For Cleaning Up Brown's Tavern

Thank you to whomever is responsible for the massive clean-up project that began yesterday at Brown's Tavern in Lookout Valley.  It already looks 1,000 percent better. Ricky and T.J. Hendricks Smith  (click for more)

Roy Exum: Who Speaks For ‘Sam?’

Fall classes began at the University of North Carolina on Monday and, before the day was spent, those in quest of a higher education were offered a great lesson. At about 9:30 at night in Chapel Hill – this in the university’s aptly-named Peace and Justice Plaza – a mob of about 300 defied UNC officials and state law by tearing down a Civil War statue. The statue, which was given ... (click for more)

Sale Creek Beats Ooltewah, 3-0, For Second Win Against District 5-3A Foe

There are two logical reasons for Sale Creek volleyball coach Debbie Hill to schedule Cleveland and Ooltewah to start the 2018 regular season. “I want the competition and the money,” Hill said prior to Tuesday’s match with the unbeaten Lady Owls. The competition the Lady Blue Raiders and Lady Owls was extremely good, considering both compete in the tough District 5-3A, ... (click for more)

Baylor's Coach Jenny Smith Finishes North Channel Ultra Distance Swim

On Monday, Baylor Swim Club Tri-Masters Coach Jenny Smith finished the North Channel Swim in 13 hours and 6 minutes.  The open water ultra-distance swim began in Donaghadee, Northern Ireland and finished in Portpatrick, Scotland on the Mull of Galloway, which is about 21.5 miles long.  The North Channel swim is approximately the same distance as the English Channel, but ... (click for more)