Last November, Jaime Linton of Illinois filed suit in federal court against her former employer, the Sheriff’s Department of Madison County, IL alleging sexual harassment and a hostile work environment. Attorneys for the Sherif Robert Hertz, the alleged harasser, and Madison County have filed a motion to dismiss claiming they are the wrong defendants in the case. Linton is seeking $2 million in compensatory and punitive damages.
One of Linton’s claims is that she suffered intentional infliction of emotional distress at the hands of her former boss, Sherif Hertz. According to court records, she alleges, “Hertz engaged in a pattern of abusive, harassing and ‘totally inappropriate’ workplace behavior towards her ‘because she never accepted his inappropriate and unsolicited romantic advances in the work place and/or in her off work hours.’”
The defense’s lawyers say that the only party Linton can pursue for compensation is the Sheriff’s Office, not Hertz or Madison County.
Sexual harassment and “intentional infliction of emotional distress”
To state a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED), a plaintiff must show that:
1) the defendant’s conduct was extreme and outrageous;
2) the defendant acted intentionally and recklessly; and
3) the conduct in fact caused severe emotional distress
Since there is no precise definition of “extreme and outrageous,” the interpretation of this law is subjective. IIED is a difficult tort to prove, although infliction bodily harm need not be part of the claim. If you need help with a sexual harassment case in New York City, speak with a lawyer right away who can evaluate the facts of your claim.
The Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC handles a multitude of cases that involve sexual harassment in Manhattan and the greater NYC area. For further information, please feel free to call us at 800-807-2209 for a free consultation or email at