Defendants want Ruth to reconsider decision in sexual harassment suit

Amelia Flood Feb. 26, 2011, 4:28am


The Illinois Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Foundation and its president, Gary Moore, are asking Madison County Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth to reconsider dismissing a sexual harassment suit brought by the foundation's former employee.

Ruth had stayed discovery in the suit brought by Colleen Vesper in April 2010 pending a ruling by the Illinois Human Rights Commission.

Vesper filed suit against Moore and the breeders foundation in 2009 claiming that she was subjected to unfair working conditions that eventually led her to lose her job because she would not date Moore.

The suit seeks damages in excess of $30,000 and attorney's fees.

Moore and the foundation filed their motion Jan. 25.

According to the motion, the defendants ask Ruth to reconsider an earlier move he denied to dismiss the suit for lack of jurisdiction.

The defendants claim that the Human Rights Commission is the more appropriate forum for the dispute.

The defendants also claim that Vesper does not argue retaliatory discharge, a count that her attorney represented would give the Madison County Court the right to hear the case in a hearing April 30, 2010.

If Ruth does not dismiss the suit, the defendants ask him to lift the stay so discovery can move forward in the suit.

Vesper's reply to the motion is not available in the case file.

Stephen McGlynn represented Vesper. He has since become a circuit judge in St. Clair County. Michael McGlynn now represents her.

Steven Schwartz represents the defense.

The case is Madison case number 09-L-1021.

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