A federal district court jury in St. Louis found in favor of a woman claiming sexual harassment. They then awarded her $95 million, an unheard of amount in a single plaintiff case. The unlucky defendant was aaron’s Inc. formerly known as Aaron’s Rent-to-Own. See St. Louis Today report. The amount includes $15 million for compensatory damages and $80 million in punitive damages. The plaintiff, Ashley Alford, was subject to crude jokes and frat boy behavior by her supervisor, Richard Moore. Mr. Moore was General manager for one of the Aaron’s stores. He hit her in the head with his penis, groped her, pinched her. The harassment lasted a year. Finally, he threw her down, masturbated over her and was arrested.
The employee complained but the company did nothing – at one point, even warning Mr. Moore to watch his back. The jury found the company negligently supervised Mr. Moore and that he had assaulted and battered Ms. Alford.
With caps on damages, the amount will be reduced to about $41.6 million. The company called the verdict a classic "runaway jury."
In my experience, the juries "runaway" only when they get very angry at a particular party. It looks like they became very angry with Aaron’s for some reason.