Sexual Harassment Claim Survives Summary Judgment

In Sarmiento v. Ampex Casting Corp., 2019 NY Slip Op 30431(U), Index NO. 150294/2011 (Sup. Ct. NY Cty. Feb. 21, 2019), the court (inter alia) denied defendants’ motion for summary judgment on plaintiff’s gender discrimination and retaliation claims.

The court addressed the “central question” of “whether plaintiff has stated an issue of fact in her deposition testimony or whether the Court must disregard her entire testimony because it is not believable or consistent with the allegations in the complaint.”

Defendants argued, among other things, that plaintiff’s deposition testimony was lacking and that plaintiff’s description of certain events was not believable.

The court disagreed, finding issues of fact.

It concluded:

There is no doubt that plaintiffs deposition testimony was, at times, confusing and unclear. But the Court cannot ignore her entire testimony simply because her deposition testimony conflicts with certain allegations in her complaint or in an affidavit. Those are credibility issues that cannot serve as the basis for securing summary judgment as a matter of law. Despite the numerous issues with plaintiffs story identified by defendants, she consistently testified that Ipek groped her on numerous occasions, subjected her to unwanted sexual advances while she worked for defendants, and that she was fired after being groped. A fact-finder must decide whether to believe .her account .or defendants’ story that plaintiff was fired because she was always late and delivered substandard work product.