Fresno's spanking lawsuit still unsettled

FRESNO, Calif.

Janet Orlando got her 15 minutes of fame when she won the big settlement against her former employer, Alarm One Security. She sued over getting spanked at so-called "motivational" work meetings. When she won her case, Orlando talked to several nationally televised news programs, including Good Morning America.

"They put our name up on the chalkboard with a check mark -- that check mark tells you how many hits you're going to get hit," she told GMA in May 2006. "They had us come up front, spread our legs, lean against the chalk board and be hit. [They] hit me with a metal alarm sign."

That was four years ago. This is now. Orlando has become camera shy, but she told me life has become a struggle. The 58-year-old hasn't gotten any of her money and she's back in court, with no guarantee she'll get a dime.

"So it's been real tough for her because she's been waiting for this money that they agreed to pay her over four years ago," said her attorney, Butch Wagner.

Alarm One was already headed for financial ruin before the spanking lawsuit, so it's unable to pay any settlement. But its insurance company co-signed an agreement when Orlando agreed to take a smaller, $1.4 million settlement.

Lawyers for Carolina Casualty Insurance claim the company was only going to pay $800,000. They say Alarm One was liable for the rest. But now, the company doesn't want to pay anything.

"All along, the insurance company has claimed that's what they're liable for," Wagner said. "They're admitting that, but they're asking this jury to award Ms. Orlando nothing."

Jurors could decide by Tuesday how much money Orlando should receive, if any. Even if she wins, appeals are possible, and Orlando's 15 minutes could be extended a couple more years.

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