A lawyer for victorious plaintiffs in the Novartis Pharmaceuticals gender bias class action on Tuesday asked a federal jury to levy punitive damages of between $190 million and $285 million against the company. David Sanford of Sanford, Wittels & Heisler said the only way to force Novartis to listen “is to hit them where it hurts” with a punitive award that also makes other corporations “sit up and take notice” on how they treat women in their workforce.
Defense lawyer Richard Schnadig of Vedder Price told the panel of five women and four men that, while he disagreed with their verdict Monday finding discrimination in pay, promotion and the treatment of pregnant sales representatives, the company had gotten the “message.” He said the award of $3.3 million in compensatory damages the jury made to 12 name plaintiffs was sufficient.
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