DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An appeals court panel says an Urbandale attorney acted improperly during a sexual harassment trial when she told of her own harassment experience.
A three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit reversed an award given to Mindy Gilster, a former employee of Primebank in Sioux City. She sued the bank and supervisor Joseph Strub in 2010, claiming sexual harassment and retaliation.
In closing arguments during the 2012 trial, her lawyer, Brooke Timmer, told jurors a Drake law school professor sexually harassed her.
Defense attorneys objected, but U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett allowed Timmer to continue.
The appeals panel ruled Friday the comments were improper.
The jury awarded Gilster $900,000. The judge reduced that to $428,982.
The case will be retried.