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Columbia University campus. Photo: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

A jury Thursday found a Columbia Business School professor retaliated against a former colleague who claimed he harassed and discriminated against her based on her sex. The jury similarly found under New York City’s human rights law that Columbia itself was liable for the retaliation against professor Enrichetta Ravina, while finding her former colleague, professor Geert Bekaert, liable for punitive damages.

The jury’s decision capped two days of deliberation. Ravina’s counsel, Sanford Heisler Sharp name attorney David Sanford, sought to portray Bekaert as a man spurned by a woman he had romantic feelings for. His anger over not getting what he wanted led him to slander Ravina to other academic and professional colleagues, while holding critical work hostage. When she reported his behavior to Columbia, Ravina alleged school officials were at first unwilling to address the claims, before the two issues came to a head when she was denied tenure.

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Colby Hamilton

B. Colby Hamilton is a litigation reporter for the New York Law Journal and Law.com.

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