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.
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.
"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.
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.
“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.”