After more than a decade of costly and acrimonious litigation, 15 female miners settled their precedent-setting class action sexual harassment lawsuit late last week against an iron ore mining company in Eveleth, Minn., that hired dozens of women in the 1970s.
Under the terms of the agreement, negotiated by lawyers on behalf of the plaintiffs and Fireman's Fund Insurance Co., which represented the company's former owners, both parties are barred from discussing the amount of the settlement. But sources said the amount exceeded $1 million, with at least four of the plaintiffs receiving more than $300,000 each, while others received less. Attorneys' fees still have to be set.
That would make the settlement one of the largest on record per person, because federal law caps sexual harassment awards at $300,000 per plaintiff, regardless of the amount awarded by the jury. The Eveleth suit was also tried under Minnesota law, which has no such limitations.
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