PNC Bank must pay $2.4M to wealth manager molested by customer: Jury

The woman claimed she was molested by a longtime customer with a history of harassment

A PNC wealth manager who claimed she was sexually assaulted while on the job was awarded $2.4 million after a jury ruled the bank had neglected to keep her safe at work, according to the woman's attorneys.

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The jury determined Damara Scott, who worked for a New Jersey PNC Bank, should be awarded the millions in compensatory damages because the bank did not protect her, and overlooked their customer’s repeated harassment against women, according to a press release distributed by Scott's attorneys.

A spokesperson for PNC told NJBiz.com the bank “does not condone harassment of any kind.

“We have a long-standing history of providing a safe workplace for our employees,” the representative said, according to the report. “We are disappointed by the verdict, even though the jury expressly found that this was not a case where punitive damages were appropriate.

PNC plans to appeal the decision, the spokesperson said.

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The customer, identified by defense attorneys as Patrick Pignatello, followed her out of the Glen Ridge bank branch and told her, “I offer full services and I aim to please,” before he began touching her and grinding her with his groin, according to the release.

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"The bank took no action to bar Pignatello after the incident, or even after his arrest," the release states.

Pignatello died before he could be arraigned in the case.

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Scott filed the civil lawsuit in 2015, according to NJ.com. Court papers identified other instances when Pignatello acted inappropriately. He once approached a different woman, a mortgage rep, placed his head on her breasts as he embraced her, the release states.

The jury’s Monday decision was lauded by Scott’s attorney, Nancy Erika Smith.

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“The jury recognized that PNC had failed to provide a safe workplace for Ms. Scott. We hope PNC will now take the steps to eliminate harassment throughout the company,” Smith said in a statement. She added: “Women are tired of employers who tolerate sexual harassment.”

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