Jury awards former PNC exec $2.4M in harassment case, Smith Mullin says

File photo Attorney Nancy Erika Smith of Smith Mullin.

A former PNC Bank executive was awarded $2.4 million in compensatory damages in a sexual harassment case, according to the Montclair law firm Smith Mullin.

An Essex County Superior Court jury made the award to Damara Scott on Monday, finding that bank executives knew a customer had a history of harassing female employees and customers, but did not protect her from him, according to a Smith Mullin news release.

The customer, Patrick Pignatello, was arrested after allegedly attacking Scott at the Glen Ridge branch of the bank, but he died prior to arraignment.

Scott was represented in the case by Smith Mullin’s Nancy Erika Smith and Neil Mullin, as well as co-counsel Randy P. Davenport, based in Elizabeth.

“The jury recognized that PNC had failed to provide a safe workplace for Ms. Scott,” Smith said in a prepared statement. “We hope PNC will now take the steps to eliminate harassment throughout the company.”

PNC issued its own statement, saying: “PNC does not condone harassment of any kind. We have a longstanding history of providing a safe workplace for our employees, and robust policies and procedures to help ensure that we continue to do so. We are disappointed by the verdict, even though the jury expressly found that this was not a case where punitive damages were appropriate. We intend to appeal based on errors made by the court.”