Fresno State Files an Appeal

February 28, 2008 6:51:51 PM PST
Earlier this month, Stacy Johnson Klein agreed to accept a reduced award of six-point-six million dollars after a judge ruled the jury's nineteen-million dollar verdict was excessive.Fresno State attorneys say they had no choice but to file the appeal in order to continue the mediation process and resolve the case.

Both sides are blaming the other for the case not moving forward.

Just weeks ago, Stacy Johnson Klein agreed to accept a reduced award in her lawsuit against Fresno State after a jury decided she was the victim of sexual harassment and gender discrimination.

Her attorney Warren Paboojian says he's disappointed in Fresno State's decision to file a notice to appeal.

Warren Paboojian: "They indicated to Stacy and I and I think the entire community that they were pleasantly surprised we accepted the remitter and they were going to try to resolve this as expediously as possible. An appeal takes two years so it's obvious they're not going to want to resolve this."

Fresno State attorneys say they are still interested in resolving the case and call the notice of appeal a part of the procedural process.

Dawn Theodora says it was Paboojian who cancelled a mediation meeting scheduled for Friday.

"Without warning, Mr. Paboojian revoked their interest and told us they didn't want to mediate a settlement. But we still stand ready willing and able, to participate in a mediation with a neutral mediator to attempt to settle the case."

Paboojian counters Fresno State attorneys have given him no indication they are serious about resolving the case and now, he's considering filing another separate appeal that would nullify his client's decision to accept a lesser award.

Paboojian: "The minute they filed that notice of appeal, allows me also to appeal the 12 and a half million dollars that Judge Black reduced."

State Senator Dean Florez was quick to react to Thursday's notice of appeal.

Florez is the chairman of gender equity committee that's held several hearings looking into complaints against Fresno State.

This Thursday afternoon, he issued a statement calling an appeal a legal gamble the state can't afford.


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