Law firm sued over allegations that include drugging
A former associate at Bingham McCutchen LLP sued the Boston law firm this week, complaining the firm brushed off her complaints that she was drugged by a co-worker at its holiday party in 2007.
The associate who filed the complaint, Michelle Moor, also alleged that a Bingham employee said that he enjoyed giving women date-rape drugs and having sex with them, but Bingham failed to fully investigate the allegations. Moor also said she was told a co-worker was drugged and raped by a Bingham employee the previous year.
Moor, 31, who left Bingham in February, 2008, previously made such claims in a complaint filed with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination that same year. But Moor, who now works as an attorney at Kotin, Crabtree & Strong LLP, filed suit in Suffolk Superior Court after the state commission dismissed her complaint in April. She is seeking $155,000 in lost wages plus an unspecified amount for emotional distress and other damages.
"By late January 2008, Ms. Moor no longer felt safe at Bingham," Moor's lawyers wrote in her lawsuit. "Between the drugging incident and Ms. Moor's departure from the firm at the end of February 2008, nothing was done to notify female employees at Bingham about the potential risk they faced at firm-sponsored events."
The state commission noted that Moor wasn't sure who drugged her, whether it was a Bingham employee, or whether the drugging was sexual in nature. It also cited Bingham's decision to fire the employee who made the remark about date rape drugs. In addition, the commission wrote that it did not find sufficient evidence to show that Moor's "working conditions were so intolerable that she would have felt compelled to resigned."
In a statement, Bingham spokeswoman Claire Papanastasiou said the firm "acted sensitively, responsibly and fairly. We are disappointed that she persists in pursuing baseless claims against the firm."
Moor's lawyers could not immediately be reached for comment. (By Todd Wallack, Globe staff)