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."


Latest Canada & World News

  • Bail granted for Dennis Oland by Court of Appeal

    Canada News CBC News
    Breaking Court of Appeal ordered new trial on second-degree murder charge CBC NewsPosted: Oct 25, 2016 11:32 AM ATLast Updated: Oct 25, 2016 11:32 AM AT Source
  • 'Everyone was screaming'; Four killed on river rapids ride at Australian theme park

    World News Toronto Sun
    SYDNEY, Australia — Four people were killed Tuesday after a river rapids ride malfunctioned at a popular theme park on Australia’s east coast, officials said. Two men and two women died while on the ride at Dreamworld, a park on Queensland state’s Gold Coast, Queensland police officer Tod Reid told reporters. Source
  • Otto's first beer run: Self-driving Budweiser truck makes 200 km delivery

    World News CBC News
    Anheuser-Busch says it has completed the world's first commercial shipment by self-driving truck, sending a beer-filled tractor-trailer on a journey of more than 120 miles — almost 200 kilometres — through Colorado. The company says it teamed with self-driving truck maker, Otto, and the state of Colorado for the feat. Source
  • 'I just killed, murdered, this woman here': Hong Kong banker’s trial jury sees chilling video of torture

    World News Toronto Sun
    HONG KONG — A Hong Kong jury watched chilling video Tuesday of a British banker torturing an Indonesian woman and then talking for hours about how he repeatedly raped her and then killed her without feeling guilt or emotion. Source
  • Former teacher and coach charged in alleged decades-old sex assault

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- A former Toronto teacher and hockey coach is facing a sex assault charge in connection with a crime that allegedly took place 46 years ago. James David Hicks is accused of sexually assaulting a boy in 1970 when he was working as the child's elementary school teacher. Source
  • Parents seeking round-the-clock care for baby Everley says gov't offer falls short

    Canada News CTV News
    An Eastern Ontario couple whose baby daughter suffers from a rare condition say they feel abandoned by the Ontario government as they seek round-the-clock care for the nine-month-old. Sarah Patterson and Jordan Yolkowskie’s daughter Everley was born with congenital central hypoventilation syndrome, a rare condition in which her brain is unable to tell her body to breathe when she is asleep. Source
  • Canadian judges to help Ukraine boost court's public trust

    Canada News CBC News
    Three Canadian judges will travel to Ukraine next week to continue a four-year project to help the conflict-ridden country's judicial system. Their challenge: much of the Ukrainian population doesn't trust their own legal system. "Where do you begin with a system that doesn't have the support or the confidence of the public?" said Chief Justice Michael MacDonald, Nova Scotia's top judge. Source
  • Rolling Stone 'rape on campus' victim says PTSD hampers memory of assault

    World News Toronto Sun
    CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The woman who claimed she was brutally gang raped in a story by Rolling Stone magazine that was later retracted said in a video played in court that she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, which makes it difficult to recall the details of her assault and the years that followed. Source
  • 'White power' parking lot rant prompts police investigation

    Canada News CTV News
    Video of a racist tirade over a parking spot has gone viral online and prompted a police investigation in Abbotsford, B.C. The two-minute video shows an enraged white man with greying hair, wearing track pants and a mixed martial arts T-shirt, spitting a slew of racist terms at Ravi Duhra, a Canadian lawyer of South Asian descent, who is filming the incident on his phone. Source
  • Obama hits back at Trump tweet on Kimmel: 'At least I will go down as a president'

    World News Toronto Sun
    LOS ANGELES — President Barack Obama entertained Jimmy Kimmel’s audience with some of the mean tweets sent his way, beginning with one sent by Donald Trump in August when he said “President Obama will go down as perhaps the worst president in the history of the United States. Source