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Lawyers Seek $2.7 Million in Fees From Glendale

September 10, 2003|Jean Guccione | Times Staff Writer

Lawyers who won a $3.5-million sexual harassment verdict against the Glendale Police Department asked a judge Tuesday for $2.7 million in attorneys' fees.

The court already has awarded $91,000 in costs to the legal team that represents three female police officers who accused their supervisors of failing to protect them from on-the-job discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation.

State law permits attorneys to recover their fees -- in this case, they are seeking $400 an hour -- from employers in discrimination cases.

Attorney Bradley Gage declined to comment on whether lawyers also would receive a portion of the multimillion-dollar verdict as payment.

The fee motion was filed moments before Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge David A. Workman denied six motions by the city of Glendale for a new trial. He also determined the verdicts, reached in June, were not excessive.

The lawsuit contended that a sexually explicit video was shown at roll call, that supervisors made unwanted advances and that the women were subjected to retaliation after they refused those advances.

The attorneys' fees, if granted, could significantly raise the price tag of a case that Gage said he had offered to settle for less than $100,000 shortly after it was filed. The city, which has spent more than $1 million on its legal defense, did not offer the plaintiffs any money to settle the claims before trial.

Glendale officials have not yet decided whether to appeal, said attorney Irma Rodriguez Moisa, who represents the city.

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