Plaintiff sued co. &every male including me for sexual harassment. I left co. before lawsuit; Co. didn't tele me I was served.

Asked over 1 year ago - Irvine, CA

I worked at a company as HR consultant. Plaintiff, whom I never saw sued Co. and every male, including me lying about sexual harassment. She served me at the co. 6 months after I left the company. Company never told me she sued or I was served. Co. knew my address. Co. answered the complaint on behalf of everyone but me (we had a fight about them not paying my invoices). Co. settled. No Notice of SEttlement filed but a Request for Dismissal with Prejudice as to everyone but me. Now I just got served with the complaint at the address i lived at for over 1 year. Can I sue the company for not telling me I was served or including me in the defense/ settlement, etc? Do I have a defense for not being served and not being included in the lawsuit/settlement?

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Pamela Octavia Pitt

    Contributor Level 14


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The comment about the fight over the payment of invoices needs to be explained more in order to give a better answer. But it appears that your former company accepted service for you. If they did, they were obligated to tell you. However, the fact that the plaintiff served you now may mean they know that the previous service was defective. You need to find an attorney who can file a Motion to Quash Summons.

  2. Michael Charles Doland

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Something doesn't quite add up: if you were served before and didn't answer your default would have been taken. You have no "damages" because the company didn't tell you. You may have damages because the company did not defend you. You need to immediately reduce your facts to written form and take it with the complaint to an employment litigator. There are several fantastic employment litigators from Irvine that post on Avvo.

    The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advice" but analysis, and different lawyers may... more
  3. Amir Mostafavi

    Contributor Level 8


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree with my colleges that you need to contact an employment attorney to help finding out whether the initial service was accepted by the company in your behalf, and if so, why they did not contact you or even defend you. Under the Labor and Corporation statutes in California, employees who are sued for performing their duties withing the scope of their employment are entitled for indemnification of their legal cost defending claims against them by others. In the event, the initial service was defective, hence the second time service, if properly served, you have 30 days to response to avoid default. I suggest you contact an employment attorney immediately to avoid future and additional troubles.

    Amir Mostafavi, Esq. Law Offices of Amir Mostafavi 11500 W Olympic Blvd., Suite 400 Los Angeles, CA 90064... more
  4. David Andrew Mallen

    Contributor Level 14


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Not enough info to know whether you have a claim against the employer for indemnification.

    The fact that the employer did not invite you to the settlement discussion is no defense; however, you MAY be able to file a cross-complaint against the parties who you feel may be responsible for plaintiff's damages, if any.

    You were wise to ask on AVVO. Now you would be wise to see an experienced employment litigation/business attorney right away.

    David Mallen

    David A. Mallen offers answers on Avvo for general information only. This offer of free, general answers is not... more
  5. Neil Pedersen

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You posted this question before and got some very wise answers. I wonder why you post this yet again.

    Your post contains some facts that do not make procedural sense. I think you would be best served to immediately find counsel to defend you and that attorney can review what has occurred and figure out the procedural history of the case.

    Good luck to you.

    This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed... more

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