Phaneesh Murthy settles sex abuse suit
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Phaneesh Murthy settles sex abuse suit

Thursday, 25 November 2004, 08:00 Hrs
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BANGALORE:Former Infosys Technologies director Phaneesh Murthy has reached an out-of-court settlement in a sex abuse suit against him and the company by a former American employee.

Jennifer Griffith had sued for $800,000, including $400,000 from the company's insurers, on the heels of Phaneesh Murthy settling another lawsuit with another former Infosys employee.

In a notification to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) Wednesday evening, Infosys chairman and chief mentor N.R. Narayana Murthy said the company had learnt the sexual harassment lawsuit had been settled between Phaneesh Murthy and Griffith before the Oct 29, 2004 trial date.

"Infosys did not contribute any money to the settlement and was not a signatory to the settlement agreement," the notification said.

"Infosys has, however, learnt from its insurers' counsel that the settlement releases Infosys from all claims and liabilities alleged in the lawsuit," it said.

"Infosys learnt from its insurers' counsel the insurers contributed $400,000 towards the settlement, representing 50 percent of the total settlement payments.

"The remaining 50 percent ($400,000) was paid by Phaneesh (Murthy), since Infosys refused to make any contribution.

"Infosys has retained all rights against Phaneesh and did not release him from any claims it may have against him," the notification said.

"In response to the Infosys' notification and contrary to his earlier stand, Phaneesh, who is currently chief executive of iGate Global Solutions, has admitted to being a participant in the settlement of this case.

"After the last iGate Global board meeting, taking into consideration the momentum we are seeing in the company, contrary to my earlier stand in this regard, I have chosen to participate in a settlement to close this case," Phaneesh said in a statement from the US, where he is posted.

"This is to ensure this chapter is behind us and in no way distracts from my current responsibilities at iGate. Due to the nature of the closure, I will not be able to comment any further on this issue," Phaneesh said.

On Oct 5, 2003, the company had stated Griffith had filed a lawsuit against Infosys and Phaneesh in the Superior Court of California, Alameda county, for sexual harassment by the latter while she was working with him in the company's US office at Fremont as public relations employee.

Griffith's lawsuit in October 2003 came close on the heels of an earlier sexual harassment case filed by Reka Maximovitch against Phaneesh and Infosys, resulting in Phaneesh Murthy resigning from Infosys in July 2002.

The first sexual harassment case was also settled out-of-court for $3 million in April 2003.



Source: IANS
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