Could Thomas Case Bolster Another MSG Lawsuit?

WABC News "“ 7Online
October 3, 2007

Anucha Browne-Sanders isn’t the only women happy with the jury’s verdict in the sexual harassment trial against Madison Square Garden — another woman suing the Garden is hoping it will bolster her case.

Yesterday a jury ruled against Knicks coach Isiah Thomas and ordered MSG to pay brown nearly $12 million dollars in punitive damages.

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Many hope this verdict will be a springboard towards change and force Garden executives to rethink the way they do things.

There’s another case hanging in the wind, one that is strikingly similar to Browne-Sanders — a case of alleged sexual harassment and the fall out that came when someone complained.

“What I did here, I did for every working woman in America,” said Browne Sanders, who came out of the courtroom beaming. “And that includes everyone who gets up and goes to work in the morning … It’s for also the women who don’t have the means and couldn’t possibly have done what I was able to do.”

Many believe what Anucha Browne-Sanders did will now send a message loud and clear to businesses of every size and kind.

The former Knicks executive was fired from her $260,000 a year job in 2006. She’s accused Thomas and Madison Square Garden of sexual harassment and said MSG fired her for complaining about the way she was treated.

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Kathleen Peratis knows for sure the Garden is paying attention. She is an attorney who heads up the sexual harassment practice group at her firm, and is preparing what could be yet another explosive sexual harassment trial against the sporting giant.

She represents Courtney Prince, the former captain of the Rangers City Skaters who is suing the Garden as did Browne-Sanders. They said things at the arena are out of control and littered with unwanted sexual advances — a frat house atmosphere where, when she say she complained to supervisors, she was fired.

“The Garden has done in the Prince case what they had done in the Browne-Sanders case, which is they have gone really all out to smear the plaintiffs,” Peratis said.

In fact, at the same time the investigation into Browne-Sanders was underway, a complaint was filed with the EEOC that suggested that the Garden implement sexual harassment training.

And now how will Browne-Sanders’ monumental win affect Prince’s case and other sexual harassment claims?

“It may be that the Garden will feel that they should try to seek an amicable resolution of the Prince case because they’ve gone through a public relations disaster,” Peratis said.

Peratis says the Garden may feel the need to win one and even the score. There is no trial date yet for the Prince case.