City Council Approves Payment to Settle Lawsuit

A $60,000 payment to settle a harassment and discrimination lawsuit filed by a city employee has been approved by the Des Moines City (Iowa) Council.
According to theDes Moines Register, the payment goes to Stephanie Trujillo and her attorney, Karin Zeigler. The settlement was given the go-ahead without discussion at the council meeting. (WCxKit)
The lawsuit filed in Polk County District Court named the city of Des Moines, Human Resources Director Tom Turner and human resources manager Michael Carter as defendants.
In the suit, Trujillo stated a department head made inappropriate comments regarding her breasts, and that another supervisor joked regarding symptoms that were due to a brain lesion.
Zeigler filed paperwork in district court to have the claims against Turner and Carter dismissed with prejudice, which means Trujillo cannot invoke additional action on the same claims.
The settlement “is not an admission of wrongdoing or liability, merely a compromise of contested facts,” according to the resolution the City Council will vote on.
Trujillo was employed in the Human Resources department from 1997 until she was dismissed in June 2010, according to the lawsuit.
Trujillo started suffering from late-stage Lyme disease in March 2008, which led to a large brain lesion and severe cardiac and neurological problems, the lawsuit said. She also was diagnosed with pernicious anemia, a disease that can lead to fatigue, nausea and weakness.
The lawsuit sought damages to compensate Trujillo for emotional distress, punitive damages to deter likewise behavior in the future, attorney fees, interest, back pay and benefits. Trujillo also requested policy changes and employee training to prevent sexual and disability harassment. (WCxKit)
In December, Zeigler noted that Trujillo had recovered from the brain lesion and was being treated for her anemia. The harassment had ceased, she indicated at the time.

Author Robert Elliott
, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See for more information.  Contact: or 860-553-6604.

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