3 female chauffeurs win $130K each in discrimination case with Saudi prince

MINNEAPOLIS -- A federal judge has awarded damages to three Minnesota women who sued after they were dismissed from their chauffeur jobs because a Saudi prince wanted only male drivers.

See Full Article

U.S. District Judge Joan Ericksen on Thursday awarded $130,000 each to Gretchen Cooper, Barbara Herold and Lisa Boutelle. In November, Ericksen ruled in favour of the three women, who filed a gender discrimination lawsuit in 2012 in Minneapolis.

The women received $100,000 each for mental anguish and suffering under the Minnesota Human Rights Act, the Star Tribune reported. Erickson doubled the $15,000 that each woman sought for wage loss, to $30,000, but did not grant punitive damages, saying that while the defendants may have acted unlawfully, the women bringing the lawsuit had not shown they acted with "deliberate disregard or malice."

The women were among 40 drivers hired in October 2010 to chauffeur Prince Abdul-Rahman bin Abdul-Aziz, his family and friends while the prince was treated at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. The lawsuit alleged that the prince and his entourage told the limousine companies they wanted male chauffeurs. Women in Saudi Arabia are prohibited from driving.

Two of the three companies involved have settled with the women. Crown Prince Limousine remained a defendant. Online court records did not list an attorney to comment on behalf of Mohamed Ali Elbashir, who does business in Minnesota as Crown Prince Limousine, or the prince. The Saudi Arabian Embassy in Washington, D.C., was closed Saturday.

The women were represented by Gender Justice, a legal advocacy organization based in St. Paul. Lisa Stratton, one of the women's attorneys, praised the judge's order.

"The key issue for us is people know now that it is not legal in the state of Minnesota or the United States to discriminate because your customer asks you to," Stratton said. "When you do business in the United States, the law of the United States applies."



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Police say man who crashed vehicle into pole died of gunshot wounds

    Canada News CTV News
    VAUGHAN, Ont. -- Police are investigating after a man found behind the wheel of a vehicle that crashed in Vaughan, Ont., died of gunshot wounds. York regional police say emergency crews were called to the intersection of Highway 7 and Interchange Way early Thursday. Source
  • A look at victims of the attack outside London's Parliament

    World News CTV News
    LONDON — Here's what's known about the victims of an attack in London where a man plowed a car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, killing two people and injuring scores of others. He then stabbed a policeman to death on the grounds of Britain's Parliament before other officers fatally shot him. Source
  • Trump Jr. called a 'disgrace' for criticizing London mayor

    World News CTV News
    In this Jan. 20, 2017, file photo, Donald Trump, Jr., and Ivanka Trump arrive on Capitol Hill in Washington for the presidential Inauguration of their father, Donald Trump. (Saul Loeb via AP, Pool, File) Source
  • AP Exclusive: U.S. probes banking of ex-Trump campaign chief

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. Treasury Department agents have recently obtained information about offshore financial transactions involving President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, as part of a federal anti-corruption probe into his work in Eastern Europe, The Associated Press has learned. Source
  • Alberta mom's 'Rainbow Baskets' bring comfort to parents of children with Down syndrome

    Canada News CTV News
    An Alberta mother is offering a helping hand to parents of babies born with Down syndrome who may feel overwhelmed by the diagnosis. Krista Rowland-Collins sends baskets of gifts and baby supplies to families who give birth to children born with Down syndrome in the Calgary area. Source
  • Republican health bill on the brink hours before showdown vote

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON - The GOP's long-promised legislation to repeal and replace "Obamacare" stood on the brink just hours before Republican leaders planned to put it on the House floor for a showdown vote. Short of support, GOP leaders looked to U.S. Source
  • It never seems a good time for a tax-the-rich budget: Don Pittis

    Canada News CBC News
    Maybe it's never a good time for greater equality. When Finance Minister Bill Morneau and his team of public servants began putting the final touches on his budget a few weeks ago, things could hardly have looked better for the economy. Source
  • 'She was my only girl': Nunavut teen's death sheds light on failures in fighting TB

    Canada News CBC News
    Matthew Kilabuk walks into the Inns North hotel in Qikiqtarjuaq, Nunavut, and begins blowing on his hands to warm them up. It is -30 C outside, without wind chill. Kilabuk, a well-known local artist who's trying to sell some of his drawings, is wearing mitts but the sheepskin is tattered and thin. Source
  • Access to tax deduction for fertility treatments expanded in budget

    Canada News CBC News
    Many Canadians who have turned to assisted reproductive technologies over the past 10 years are now eligible for a tax deduction as a result of Finance Minister Bill Morneau's new budget. Getting medical help to conceive a child can cost thousands of dollars, a cost that isn't covered by most provincial health plans. Source
  • Supreme Court of Canada to rule on Dennis Oland's bail appeal

    Canada News CBC News
    The country's highest court will rule today on whether the New Brunswick Court of Appeal made a mistake by denying Dennis Oland bail while he was waiting to appeal his second-degree murder conviction. The Supreme Court of Canada is expected to release its decision at 10:45 a.m. Source