Lisa Vanderpump was shocked to learn the verdict in a sexual harassment lawsuit brought forward by Villa Blanca waitress, Karina Bustillos. According to TMZ, Bustillos went to court after she was allegedly “manhandled” by a staff member on Vanderpump’s payroll. Last week, the waitress was awarded $6,000 in the case — the jury felt that she deserved the money, but did not fault manager, Michael Govia, who reportedly harassed Bustillos.
Everyone thought the lawsuit was over and that both sides were happy with the outcome… until yesterday. The jury decided to hold Villa Blanca at fault and has ordered Bustillos be paid $100,000 in punitive damages.
Lisa Vanderpump’s attorney feels the verdict was outrageous and plans to file an appeal:
“We are in absolute shock at the amount of punitive damages that were awarded. Especially in light of nominal compensatory damages awarded and the lack of sufficient evidence. We plan to immediately file an appeal and are confident that we will prevail.”
According to The Daily News, the waitress was allowed to go after Villa Blanca for punitive damages because the jury “found the restaurant acted with malice.” No one, however, expected that Bustillos would be awarded such a large sum of money. Bustillos was happy with the verdict, though. She was weeping in the court room, comforted by her friends. She first filed the lawsuit at Los Angeles Superior Court in October 2012, so this verdict was definitely a long time coming.
Lisa Vanderpump doesn’t seem to be letting the verdict get to her, after all, what’s $100,000, really? However, she does have attorneys working on the case, and she isn’t going to fork over any money unless she absolutely has to. The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star has plenty of money to hire the best legal team in the country if that’s the route that she wants to go — and it’s highly unlikely that Bustillos will be making out with a huge payday following the appeal.
In other Lisa Vanderpump news, the reality star is still feuding with former BFF, Brandi Glanville. This lawsuit won’t affect her relationship with Brandi — but it could give Brandi fuel to add to her ongoing fight with Lisa, you never know.
Do you think Lisa and her husband, Ken, should pay the $100,000 to their former waitress or do you think the jury’s ruling was unfair? Will Lisa win the appeal?
[Photo courtesy of Evans Vestal Ward/Bravo]