Novartis ordered to pay 250 m dollars to sexually harassed female sales reps

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New York, May 20 (ANI): A Manhattan jury has asked drugs giant Novartis to cough up 250 million dollars in punitive damages to thousands of female sales reps who were victims of gender discrimination.

The award came two days after jurors in the Manhattan Federal Court case awarded 3.3 million dollars in compensatory damages to 12 plaintiffs, who said they were denied promotions and pay raises in a sexually charged workplace.

"This is a vindication of everything that has happened in this courtroom over the last two months," the New York Daily News quoted David Sanford, a lawyer for the women, as saying.

A dozen women had originally sued Novartis, the maker of Excedrin, Gas-X and Vagistat, for discrimination in 2004.

Close to 5,600 former and current Novartis reps eventually joined the class action, accusing the drug maker of engaging in massive sexual discrimination.

A Novartis spokeswoman did not immediately respond to requests for comment, but the company has said it plans to appeal.

Judge Colleen McMahon will eventually decide how much each member of the class receives. (ANI)

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