UB settles harassment lawsuit for $255,000
Published: Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, September 4, 2013 01:09
A former UB employee has settled a harassment lawsuit against the school and a former associate dean for the amount of $255,000.
Lesley Shiner, 64, a former clerk in the School of Dental Medicine, accused Dr. Jude Fabiano, 62, the former associate dean of clinical affairs in the School of Dental Medicine, of making unwanted sexual advances at a holiday party December 21, 2010. Fabiano will pay $40,000 of the settlement and UB will pay the remaining $215,000.The money will cover damages and legal fees. Shiner also agreed to withdraw the complaint to the university as part of the settlement.
In the lawsuit, Shiner claimed to be badly traumatized by the alleged advancements. As part of the settlement, UB and Fabiano reached the agreement“without any admission of liability, guilt or wrongdoing on the part of defendants.”
“By settling the lawsuit, Dr. Fabiano doesn’t have an opportunity to present his case fully in front of jury,” Michael A. Brady, Fabiano’s attorney, said to The Buffalo News. “He at all times has denied any intention of ever discriminating against the plaintiff or ever intentionally trying to harm her in any way. The determination to resolve the lawsuit was made largely out of financial considerations.”
Shiner claimed the dental school had a history of being a sexually hostile workplace, according to the lawsuit. Some testimonies from various faculty members of the School of Dental Medicine supported Shiner’s claim that she was sexually harassed at that Christmas party. Others contradicted her assertion and some said she did not look uncomfortable during her interaction with Fabiano. One worker said it was a “weird party” and that people were sitting on others’ laps and many were touching each other.
Fabiano had requested reimbursement for legal fees regarding his lawsuit against the State Attorney General’s Office. Fabiano was charged with two misdemeanors – forcible touching and unlawful imprisonment – and harassment, which is a violation.
The court dismissed the unlawful imprisonment charge and Fabiano was acquitted of forcible touching. He was, however, convicted of harassment. His attorney for the harassment charge, Kevin Spitler, claimed the Town of Tonawanda court excluded evidence that would have been beneficial to his case. Fabiano has since waived the request for reimbursement and the proceeding on the harassment case is scheduled for Sept. 30.