Lamothe Law Firm Defeats Motion to Dismiss Sexual Assault Claim

by Julien G. Lamothe

Judge's gavel and scalesThe Lamothe Law Firm recently defeated a motion to dismiss concerning sexual harassment claims brought under the Fair Housing Act.

In denying the motion to dismiss, the Court found that the plaintiff had sufficiently stated a claim of severe sexual harassment under the Fair Housing Act where claimant alleged the defendant touched the plaintiff’s vaginal area while she was at his office to pay rent. The Court relied on Fifth Circuit jurisprudence that states that the “deliberate unwanted touching of intimate body parts, even a single incident, can constitute severe sexual harassment.”

The Court also found that exemptions to the application of the Fair Housing Act are not a jurisdictional prerequisite that the plaintiff bears the burden to plead, but rather are affirmative defenses that the defendant bears burden to prove.

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