July 13, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

Former Beverly Hills Waitress Awarded $6,250 from Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

 

Lisa Vanderpump of "Real Housewives" owned the restaurant that the lawsuit stemmed from.
Lisa Vanderpump of “Real Housewives” owns the restaurant that the lawsuit stemmed from.

A former server for a Beverly Hills restaurant owned by “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Lisa Vanderpump who said she was forced to quit due to sexual harassment by the eatery’s assistant manager was awarded $6,250 today by a jury.

However, although the Los Angeles Superior Court panel found the Villa Blanca restaurant liable, its members exonerated Michael Govia, who plaintiff Karina Bustillos alleged was her harasser.

The jury also found the restaurant acted with malice, a decision that allowed Bustillos’ attorneys to proceed with an attempt to win punitive damages.

Govia was hugged by his attorneys after the verdict. Meanwhile, a weeping Bustillos was comforted by friends.

Bustillos filed her case in Angeles Superior Court in October 2012, naming Govia, the restaurant, Vanderpump and the reality star’s husband, Ken Todd.

Bustillos maintained Govia caused pain in her wrists when he took hold and twisted them after she asked for change for a $20 bill so she could distribute tips at the end of her shift on Aug. 13, 2012.

Four months earlier, Govia tried to kiss the plaintiff, she alleged.

Linfield found that the Villa Blanca would be able to pay the damages owed Bustillos and that therefore Vanderpump and Todd would not be sharing liability with their restaurant under a legal “alter ego” theory.

Bustillos worked at Villa Blanca in Beverly Hills for about 14 months until September 2012, when she maintained she quit because she could not take the stress of remaining there any longer. She alleged the eatery violated its own policies against sexual harassment by not doing anything to punish Govia for his alleged misconduct.

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