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N.C. Doctor Settles in Chronic Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

A Charlotte, North Carolina doctor agreed to a settlement for a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against him by three former employees.

Charlotte Observer reports that Dr. Hans Hansen settled the lawsuit for an undisclosed amount in a confidential agreement just days before the trial was scheduled to start. Hansen operates Pain Relief Center clinics in several cities around North Carolina, including Conover and Statesville.

The plaintiffs were three female former employees — Deana Lingle, Robin Perun and Leslie Treadway who worked primarily at the Conover clinic and occasionally helped out at the Salisbury and Statesville locations.

At first, they filed a complaint with the N.C. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2010, alleging that Hansen subjected them to months of sexual propositions and inappropriate physical contact, including kissing and fondling, according to the Observer. The following year, the three filed a federal lawsuit. Among the allegations cited were intentional infliction of emotional distress; assault and battery; and negligent hiring, supervision and retention.

In response, Hansen and his attorneys said that the women had banded together to file “trumped-up claims” against the doctor. The defendants alleged that the former employees did not follow set company procedures for filling claims of harassment, and that they had changed their stories. Further, they argued that the case should have been considered in part a workers’ compensation claim.

However, the argument for treating the case as worker’s comp was dismissed. One week before the early January trial was to begin, Hansen reached a sealed settlement offer with attorneys for the plaintiffs.

The employees had originally asked for more than $100,000 in damages and to be reinstated to their jobs with corrective measures in place to protect them. All three were either terminated or had left the company prior to the lawsuit.

If you or a loved one is experiencing problems in your workplace such as discrimination or trouble with a workers’ compensation claim, contact Kelly & West for help.

NOTE: Kelly & West is not representing the plaintiffs in this case.

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