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Novartis Class Awarded $250 Million in Punitive Damages
Date:5/19/2010

n">Grant Morris, of Washington, D.C. 

"This is a just award, and one richly deserved by Novartis' female sales reps. The 5,600 women in the class endured egregious gender discrimination for years. All the while, the company did nothing, even after being warned time after time about the deep-seated culture of discrimination at the company," said Mr. Sanford. "What the jury did here today was the right thing—not only for the women in the class but also for working women around the country who deserve to work in an environment free of discrimination."

"The jury's decision speaks to Novartis with a force far greater than any single voice.  For the thousands of women across the country who suffered discrimination, finally the time has come that Novartis must hear and recognize the depth of its injustice," said Katherine Kimpel. "Corporations cannot violate our federal equal employment laws and get away with it. Jurors like the ones who ruled today will not stand for it. If you profit off of the American people, you have to abide by our civil rights laws."  

Although several of Novartis' witnesses claimed during the trial that the company had a "zero tolerance policy" for discrimination, those witnesses each admitted that the company's managers were never terminated or demoted, even when complaints of discrimination were substantiated by its own HR department.

Steven Wittels said of today's victory, "All of the brave women who testified have played a role in standing up to this company's discriminatory treatment of women, and we are gratified to have been able to help them in this quest.  We all hope that no female employee in Novartis or any other large corporation will ever have to endure what these women endured while
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SOURCE Sanford Wittels & Heisler LLP
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