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A former computer technician who said she was fired from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for siding with a co-worker claiming sexual harassment was awarded more than $2 million in damages Wednesday. Plaintiff attorney Gary Gwilliam’s office confirmed that jurors in Alameda County Superior Court granted Dee Kotla $127,000 in economic damages, such as lost earnings and medical expenses, and $2 million in non-economic damages for emotional distress. Kotla, a 14-year employee, had sued the Regents of the University of California, who manage the lab, after being fired in 1997. She claimed she was the victim of retaliation for testifying for Kim Norman, a secretary she supervised, in a suit against the lab and a male manager. Lab officials had argued that Kotla was terminated for using company equipment to run an outside business. According to published reports, Gwilliam had sought $690,000 in economic damages and as much as $10 million in non-economic damages. The case was on its second round through the courts. In 2002, jurors awarded Kotla $1 million in damages, which a trial judge later reduced to $745,000. San Francisco’s 1st District Court of Appeal sent the case back last year after throwing out testimony by an expert witness.

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