Month: February 2012

February 17, 2012 Attorney Kevin Madison Comments Off on $20 Million Award for Rape Victim Against Houston Apartment Complex

$20 Million Award for Rape Victim Against Houston Apartment Complex

A Harris County jury awarded $20 million in damages Wednesday to a rape victim who sued her apartment complex for failing to notify residents about previous sexual attacks on the property. The woman lived at The Promenade Cullen Park when a masked man who resided in the west Houston complex raped and sodomized her for more than 10 hours in February 2009. The Houston Chronicle does not identify victims of sexual assault. According to the lawsuit, apartment officials knew about a break-in next door to the woman’s unit a few weeks before her ordeal in which a man tried to rape that resident and failed to notify other tenants about a sexual predator. The woman who filed suit lived alone and renewed her lease shortly after the earlier incident without being told about its severity, said Troy Chandler, a lawyer on the Williams Kherkher team who represented the woman.

“The apartment complex issued a notice that an apartment had been broken into – the same warning that they would send out if a bicycle was stolen off a balcony or a TV was stolen out of an apartment,” Chandler said. “The notice failed to mention that a burglary occurred, that the assailant waited inside, that a tenant was attacked and that there had been an attempted rape.” The lawsuit, filed in June 2010, sought damages for negligence and deceptive trade practices. The woman continues to  suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, Chandler said. After a weeklong trial, the jury awarded $7 million for physical pain and mental anguish, $5 million for future mental anguish and $8 million for conduct forbidden by the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

The verdict comes one day before the three-year anniversary of the attack. “She wanted the apartment complex to change their notification policy,” Chandler said. “Her goal is to make sure that another person does not suffer and she wanted a jury to acknowledge what (apartment officials) did was wrong.” Chandler said he expects the defendant to appeal the verdict. Neither lawyers representing the apartment company nor a spokesperson for the Thompson Coe law firm could be reached for comment late Wednesday. Police, on notice about a possible serial rapist, arrested Darryl Anthony Martin shortly after the woman’s attacker fled and she called 911. Martin, now 24, pleaded guilty to sexual assault in 2010 and was sentenced to 20 years in state prison.

February 11, 2012 Attorney Kevin Madison Comments Off on Weatherford, Texas Air Conditioning Company Settles Sexual Discrimination Lawsuit with EEOC

Weatherford, Texas Air Conditioning Company Settles Sexual Discrimination Lawsuit with EEOC

A Weatherford company has settled a sexual discrimination lawsuit with the federal government after a woman complained of crude comments, unwanted touching and a manager who exposed himself to her, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Hobson Air Conditioning settled a sexual-harassment and constructive-discharge lawsuit brought by the commission the day before the case was to be presented to a jury, the commission said Thursday. The settlement pays the woman $37,500 and imposes extensive conditions on Hobson.

Attorney Trey Harris of Fort Worth, who represents Hobson, said that the company admitted no wrongdoing and that the amount was about 20 percent of “what their best offer was in mediation.”  “It is my opinion that the plaintiff’s evidence was quite weak,” he said. “Hobson is committed to an environment free of any kind of sexual harassment. They always have been. Hobson is a family business.”

The woman, a former Hobson installation coordinator, was the only female employee at its Kennedale facility. According to the commission, her manager subjected her to sexually vulgar comments and touches soon after she was hired, including repeatedly asking her to show him her breasts, making crude sexual demands of her “and even exposing himself to her on multiple occasions.” The woman reported the harassment to higher management, but nothing was done to stop the behavior or discipline the manager, the commission said. The company did not investigate her report, the behavior continued and the woman “had no choice but to quit,” the commission said. Constructive discharge, in employment law, refers to situations where an employee has no choice but to resign because the employer’s actions have become so intolerable.

“To have a manager subject a subordinate employee to such mistreatment has the potential to establish the acceptance of such behavior in the workplace,” commission lawyer Devika Seth said. “We hope this settlement shows that there will be accountability when such an abuse of power occurs.”  Harris said that the conduct was supposed to have occurred in 2008 and that the manager is no longer with Hobson.  In the settlement, Hobson also agreed to:

  • Revise its sexual harassment policy and procedures to provide multiple avenues for reporting harassment.
  • Conduct annual training for five years on the laws against sexual harassment and the proper procedure for investigating complaints.
  • Report to the commission any complaints of sexual harassment for the next five years and post an anti-discrimination notice.
  • Place in the ex-manager’s personnel file a notice reflecting the complaint.
February 10, 2012 Attorney Kevin Madison Comments Off on Justice for crime victims IN THE UNITED STATES: CIVIL TORT CLAIMS FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT AND SEXUAL EXPLOITATION ©- Part 3



             A civil judgment obtained against a sexual or physical predator who “willfully and maliciously” assaults another cannot be discharged by the defendant if he files for federal bankruptcy court protection, like other debts can. This federal bankruptcy law applies to all bankruptcy courts throughout the United States. If a crime victim is able to obtain a civil judgment against a criminal predator for physical assault, or sexual assault, sexual exploitation, or sexual harassment, and there is a court finding that the acts were intentional and malicious, that judgment cannot be discharged or dissolved by a bankruptcy court.

Kevin Madison is an Austin-based attorney with over 29 years litigation experience and 25 years of experience as a judge. He is also a trained Sexual Assault Crime Victim Advocate.  He was the first attorney in Austin to file a civil lawsuit against a rapist and obtained a $1.5 million judgment in 1987. His experience and training as a police officer, police chief, prosecutor and EMT set him apart from most other personal injury attorneys as an advocate for victim rights in the civil justice system. To learn more about Kevin Madison or civil remedies available to victims of sexual assault, visit or call (512) 708-1650.


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