David Jones could have avoided $37m sex suit

Posted: August 31, 2010 in Uncategorized
David Jones

Kristy Fraser-Kirk outside the Federal Court in Sydney this week. She reportedly sought only $8 million in damages during negotiations with David Jones. Picture: Ross Schultz
Source: The Australian

DAVID Jones and its former chief executive, Mark McInnes, nearly avoided the $37 million sexual harassment suit lodged against them by DJs publicist Kristy Fraser-Kirk, a newspaper claimed today.

Ms Fraser-Kirk, 27, claims that the nine David Jones board members breached their duty of care to her because they failed to protect her from Mr McInnes’s alleged sexual advances.

She also claims that David Jones breached the Trade Practices Act and that after McInnes quit, the company failed to correct statements that his conduct was an isolated incident.

David Jones denies the claims.

The Herald reported that Ms Fraser-Kirk’s lawyers had initially asked for $8 million in damages during negotiations but that David Jones offered only $250,000.

Both parties revised their figures as talks continued but after David Jones rebuffed a proposed settlement of $850,000, Ms Fraser-Kirk’s lawyers filed the $37 million lawsuit.

At a hearing earlier this week, Ms Fraser-Kirk’s lawyer said that Mr McInnes made unwelcome sexual advances to four other David Jones employees.

Rachel Francois told Justice Geoffrey Flick at the Federal Court in Sydney that the claim may be amended to include 11 more women who allegedly were subjected to sexual harassment.

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