POSTED JAN 13, 2015 07:28 AM CST
A Manhattan law firm ripped up carpet stained by blood when a partner “painfully and forcefully” had sex with an associate following a 2011 holiday party, the former associate’s lawyer alleged as her bias trial got under way on Monday.
The now-former associate, Alexandra Marchuk, is seeking $9 million in her bias suit against the law firm, Faruqi & Faruqi, the New York Post reports. A preview of the trial by the New York Law Journal (sub. req.) says Marchuk claims $2 million in damages and is seeking at least $10 million in punitive damages.
Marchuk, who is represented by Harry Lipman, claims partner Juan Monteverde told her she would not receive a bonus and would likely lose her job if she did not have sex with him, the New York Law Journal says. She claims she agreed to return to his office after the party where he pushed her to the floor and had forceful sex with her. Marchuk says the firm protected Monteverde because he was a rainmaker.
During opening statements, a lawyer for the firm, Scott Bursor, countered that Marchuk pursued Monteverde, and said she never complained the partner had sexually assaulted her until after she resigned, the New York Post says. Bursor told jurors that a gynecologist who evaluated Marchuk will testify that the associate told him sex was consensual.
Bursor also said Marchuk was embarrassed about the stain and she suggested throwing coffee over it to avoid office gossip.
The law firm filed a counterclaim for defamation but it was dropped, spurring Marchuk to add allegations of defamation and malicious prosecution to her suit, the New York Post says.