An Affair to Remember

A suit against US West over Robert Harlan's sexual behavior is thrown for a loop by a lawyer-plaintiff relationship.

Robert Harlan was sentenced to death last July for the kidnapping, rape and murder of waitress Rhonda Maloney. US West had employed Harlan for seven years as a telephone operator prior to the murder. During those years, four formal complaints regarding his conduct toward women were filed with the company, but he was not discharged until four days after he was arrested for murder. The people now suing US West detail incidents ranging from Harlan's verbal sexual advances to physical assaults. Their suits--now combined for trial--claim that the harassment, coupled with US West's refusal to do anything about it, damaged the plaintiffs emotionally and have resulted, in the words of Hanna's complaint, in "forever diminishing...her ability to interact with other people.

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