Sexual Harassment and Assault

The Firm has a strong commitment to ensuring that persons are free from sexual harassment. The firm has successfully represented numerous individuals who have suffered sexual harassment, assault, or abuse in a variety of contexts, including employment, housing, education and other contexts. While some of these cases resulted in litigation, many of these cases were settled through confidential mediations.

Read the latest news on ECBAWM’s work on sexual harassment and assault.

Representative Cases:

  • Breest v. Haggis: The Firm represents a young woman who alleges that a Hollywood director raped and assaulted her after a film premiere where she was working. This is one of the few cases of the MeToo era that is being litigated in civil court. The Firm argued and won a landmark victory on the New York City Victims of Gender-Motivated Violence Protection Law.
  • Representing over 100 men who were sexually abused by former Ohio State University physician Dr. Richard Strauss, in a Title IX lawsuit against OSU.
  • Sandler/Cutbill v. Cold Spring Harbor School District – Representing two women who were sexually abused by their high school teachers in a Long Island public school, in federal lawsuits brought under the Child Victims Act (CVA).
  • Represented a woman who was sexually harassed by former Governor Andrew Cuomo while she was employed by New York state.
  • The Firm represents a child who was abused by staff while in foster care in a lawsuit against Child & Family Services in Buffalo, New York. The abuse took place in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when he was only eight to ten years old; the case was brought under the Child Victims Act (CVA).
  • Represented Nikki Columbus, who sued MoMA PS1 in the New York City Human Rights Commission for revoking her job offer after learning she had just had a baby. The parties reached an agreement requiring PS1 to pay Ms. Columbus a financial award and to update its written policies to protect women and caregivers.
  • Representing family of child sexually abused at school by other students in case against the child’s private school.
  • Represented incarcerated woman in claim against United States of America arising from sexual assault by BOP correctional staff.
  • Cruz v. Nieves – The Firm won a jury trial for a gay man who was subjected to vicious verbal and written harassment while he lived in a Bronx apartment building in an action against the landlord alleging violations of State and City laws prohibiting housing discrimination based on sexual orientation.
  • Litigated a sexual harassment lawsuit in the New York City Commission on Human Rights to bypass an arbitration clause. The case alleged that the plaintiff was “subjected to an astounding barrage of groping and sexually explicit and derogatory comments, texts, emails, and signs by her boss.” The case was covered by and the New York Post.
  • State of New York v. Berezin – The Firm successfully represented one of several former tenants in a case brought by the New York State Attorney General’s office against a Manhattan landlord alleging that he sexually harassed female tenants.
  • Along with co-counsel, the Firm represented a transgender woman who was sexually assaulted by two different employees of the New York City Department of Corrections and/or the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation on two different occasions, as corroborated by forensic evidence, despite credible complaints she and others had previously made. The case ultimately settled for $750,000.
  • Successfully litigated an action in federal court on behalf of a woman who suffered a sexual assault at her office, by her supervisor, and was then retaliated against when she reported it.
  • Negotiated a confidential settlement on behalf of three women who were sexually harassed and/or assaulted for years by other employees.
  • Successfully represented a woman who was raped by a co-worker and then fired when she reported it.
  • Successfully represented a female tenant against a Brooklyn landlord who sexually assaulted/harassed her in her home.
  • Negotiated a confidential settlement on behalf of a woman sexually harassed and then assaulted by her boss.