Motions seek a new trial in harassment case

Senate Republicans and the state’s attorney general are seeking a new trial after a jury awarded a former Senate Republican Caucus Staff employee $2.2. million for being subjected to harassment and retaliation.

The motion refers to that award as “excessive damages” that appear “to have been influenced by passion or prejudice.” The defendants in the case are arguing they’re entitled to a new trial due to statements Kirsten Anderson’s attorney made in court about how the jury could “send a message” with a verdict in Anderson’s favor.

The motion also argues there was not sufficient evidence to support the damage amount awarded by the jury. The motion, which was signed by Attorney General Tom Miller, also argues the judge’s instructions to the jury were in error.

Mike Carroll, one of Anderson’s attorneys, told Radio Iowa he is “not shocked” by the motion for a new trial, but Carroll said the arguments made in the motion are “inconsistent with the jury’s verdict” and seem to be inconsistent with statements the governor and others have made about having “zero tolerance” of sexual harassment in the workplace.

In a brief filed with the district court, the state’s lawyers also noted Anderson’s attorney had not called a medical provider or therapist to testify in support of Anderson’s claim that she had been emotionally distressed by her work environment in the senate.

Here are the court documents:

170802 ST- BIS Motion for New Trial

170802 ST- Motion for New Trial

170802 ST- Ex. A to Motion for New Trial

170802 ST- Motion for Bill of Exceptions

170802 ST- BIS Motion for JNOV

170802 ST- Motion for JNOV