Patty Hahn, a nurse, sued her employer and one of its physicians for sexual harassment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and retaliation. However, the case was really about Dr. Scott Davidson’s bullying.
Ms. Hahn testified that Dr. Davidson screamed at her on three occasions with his hands raised and fists clenched. He said, “Just shut up. Just shut up, I’m sick of you.” He was also accused of throwing punches at her, although he never actually made contact. In accordance with company policy, Ms. Hahn complained to human resources. In response, Dr. Davidson called her into his office so that he could show her what actual screaming was as opposed to what he had done previously to her.
The parties reached a settlement, but before they did, the jury reached a verdict. The jury awarded in excess of one-million dollars. The doctor was held individually liable. Dr. Davidson’s conduct was described as hostile and threatening. Whether his conduct met the standard of sexual harassment was unclear. What was clear: Dr. Davidson’s bullying behavior resulted in a verdict against an employer. Ms. Hahn’s attorney stated, “A verdict such as this should serve as a warning and wake up call to bosses everywhere that they cannot scream, demean or otherwise bully their employees.”