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Home / Verdicts & Settlements / Fees bring prison guard’s judgment to $1.1 million

Fees bring prison guard’s judgment to $1.1 million

A St. Francois County judge awarded more than $220,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs to a former prison guard who was sexually harassed on the job, bringing the total award to nearly $1.1 million.

In January, a jury awarded Samantha Kelley $120,000 in compensatory damages and $750,000 in punitive damages on her claims that she was subjected to repeated sexual comments and lewd gestures by two male colleagues at the Farmington Correctional Center.

In an April 7 judgment, Judge Wendy L. Wexler Horn approved of the $144,000 in hourly time that Kelley’s attorneys at Dobson, Berns & Rich in St. Louis expended on the case, then applied a 1.5 multiplier to that amount, finding that the attorneys had “demonstrated that their fee in this case has always been contingent, that taking this case precluded them from accepting other employment that would have been less risky, and that the time required by the demands of preparing this case for trial delayed work on their other cases.”

Horn also OK’d $1,779 in taxable costs and $2,372 in litigation expenses. The total judgment against the state is $1,090,407.

The case is Kelley v. Missouri Department of Corrections, 17SF-CC00031.