In June, two practitioners from Midland, Texas, won a $1 million verdict for a Texas woman who brought a sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination action against Odessa-based oilfield services company Brinkerhoff Inspection, doing business as SMOB. The plaintiff, Sara Roberts, was represented by Holly Williams of Williams Law Firm and Brian Carney of Carney Law Firm.
The $1 million verdict returned on June 6 by the jury of six men and two women includes punitive damages totaling $841,625. The case is Sara L. Roberts v Brinkerhoff Inspection, Inc. dba SMOB in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Case No. 7:16-cv-342.
Jurors heard testimony that plaintiff Sara Roberts was fired just four days into her employment after rejecting sexual advances from SMOB’s personnel manager. Roberts had also disclosed that she was pregnant during the job interview process in response to questions by Demby. She also claimed was fired after informing the company that she had recently gotten married.
In reaching the verdict, jurors agreed unanimously that Roberts was a victim of sexual harassment, sex discrimination, and pregnancy discrimination.
“The jury is the conscience of the community. This diverse jury of men and women from all walks of life in the oilfield wanted to send a clear message,” said Williams, the lead trial attorney. “They can be proud of this verdict. Businesses across the energy sector should take note of this verdict and carefully review their practices.
Brinkerhoff is an oilfield inspection company. At the time of Roberts’ employment, it was owned by former San Diego Chargers linebacker Bront Bird.
For more major settlements and verdicts from the Lone Star State, visit Leaders In The Law presents Texas’ Leading Lawyers 2017.