Sitka: Harassment claim settled out of court

Posted: Sunday, October 13, 2002

A lawsuit against the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium and its president was settled out of court last month before a civil trial scheduled for Sitka began.

Kim Perkins, a former SEARHC employee, alleged in the lawsuit that she was wrongfully terminated in 1999 after complaining to a member of the SEARHC board that she had been sexually harassed by Ken Brewer, now SEARHC president and a vice president at the time.

Perkins first sought $50,000 in back pay damages and $100,000 in punitive damages. As amended, her suit sought $500,000 in compensatory damages for wrongful termination, $500,000 for "pain and suffering," and $1 million in punitive damages.

Brewer filed a counterclaim alleging defamation, saying that Perkins had made "false and defamatory statements" with the intent of damaging his reputation. He asked for attorney's fees, compensatory damages, punitive damages and other relief.

Financial terms of the out-of-court settlement were not disclosed. The agreement said both sides would withdraw their claims. Perkins and her husband also agreed to make no further statements against Brewer, SEARHC or other SEARHC employees in relation to the lawsuit. If such statements are made, the Perkins will pay damages of $10,000 under terms of the settlement. The parties also agreed to pay their own attorney fees and costs.

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