2013: In Moran v. Shah, on August 5, a twelve person jury in Palm Springs found Palm Desert real estate developer, Suresh Shah, guilty of sexually harassing Karen Moran, Shah’s former leasing agent and mall manager at the Town Center Mall in Yucca Valley.
The jury awarded plaintiff $1.25 million ($1,000,000 in punitive damages against Mr. Shah and $250,000 in compensatory damages to plaintiff). Ms. Moran alleged Mr. Shah made unwanted requests for sexual favors in exchange for a raise in pay, that he sent her and other female employees numerous sexually explicit emails, and that he touched her inappropriately and directed vulgar, gender based language at her and other women employees over a period of many months.
The jury also found Mr. Shah acted with malice or oppression, which was the basis for the punitive damages award. Ms. Moran was represented by Patrick McNicholas (lead), John Dalton (second chair), and Jason Oliver.