Sexual Harassment Spanking Case Overturned

KFSN 1/17/2008 Janet Orlando's attorney tells Action News the recent decision by an appellate court to overturn her sexual harassment verdict is frustrating.

About two years ago the world learned of Orlando's odd tale of spankings at the work place.

Orlando claims, "I had a 20-year-old spank me twice and a 30-year-old hit me and split my leg open."

The spankings were intended to be a motivational tool for employees of alarm one.

"It was humiliation and just absolutely disgusting what they did to me" said Orlando.

In spring of 2006, a jury agreed with Janet Orlando and awarded her $1.7 million dollars in damages. At the time, Orlando's attorney Butch Wagner said the jury saw nothing motivational about spankings.

"A jury that was reasonable and fair and brought justice to terrible situation" said Wagner.

Orlando's case became famous. She spoke with several national morning shows about her situation.

Several days ago an appellate court decided the jury was wrong and overturned Orlando's verdict.

Alarm one's defense attorney poncho Baker said, "Hopefully national news will pick it up that Miss Orlando has received zero dollars at the present time."

Poncho Baker was the Defense Attorney for Alarm One. Baker said the jury didn't follow special instructions on how to determine guilt in the case. Baker says that's why the appellate court overturned the verdict.

"A wrong instruction had been given so the appellate court reversed it and remanded it for a new trail. So Miss Orlando is back to square one" said Baker.

Orlando's attorney says his client's ready to go back to trial but she's not looking forward to reliving this event.

Wagner said, "Because it's obviously more personal to her and she has to relive the whole thing personally again. Whereas for me it's another case and it's something I've seen before."

Orlando's attorney says they will be ready to go back to trial here in Fresno within the next year.

As for Alarm One, Baker tells us there is no longer a branch in this area. He says the trial put them out of business.

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