Jury finds RMC negligent in sexual harassment case involving former Anniston councilman
by Brian Anderson
Nov 08, 2013 | 11364 views |  0 comments | 74 74 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Aerial photo of Regional Medical Center in downtown Anniston. File photo: Trent Penny/The Anniston Star
Aerial photo of Regional Medical Center in downtown Anniston. File photo: Trent Penny/The Anniston Star
A jury today found Regional Medical Center guilty of negligence in relation to a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a former employee against former Anniston City Councilman David Dawson.

Calhoun County Circuit Judge Brian Howell said the jury’s verdict awards $400,000 to Ashville resident Kay Dodd.

Dodd sued in February 2012, naming Dawson, Regional Medical Center, Anniston Pathology Management Services and RMC employee Tim Jones as defendants. Howell said Dawson had previously settled his case out of court.

According to her lawsuit, Dodd worked as a cytotechnologist — a person who inspects slides of cells under a microscope to look for cancer or other evidence of disease — for the hospital and routinely worked with Anniston Pathology, where Dawson had been employed.

Dodd’s lawsuit alleges that Dawson harassed her repeatedly from 2005 to 2011. The lawsuit claims that on Aug. 5, 2011, Dawson physically harassed the woman in her office. The lawsuit stated that Dodd reported the incident to RMC, and as a result of the complaint, Dawson was denied access to RMC facilities for two weeks.

Dawson resigned from his job at Anniston Pathology in January 2012. He resigned from the City Council in April 2012.

Dodd’s lawsuit said RMC was negligent because the hospital knew Dawson had previously sexually harassed other female employees. Howell said RMC’s attorneys dispute that hospital officials had knowledge about previous sexual harassment incidents involving Dawson. Also, Howell said, RMC attorneys argued that because Dawson was not an employee of the hospital, RMC was not at fault in the suit.

Howell said the jury deliberated for more than three hours Friday before reaching a verdict in the case, which began on Monday.

Attempts late today to reach representatives of RMC and the attorneys involved in the case were unsuccessful.

Staff writer Brian Anderson: 256-235-3546. On Twitter @BAnderson_Star.

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