Chiropractor Bruce J. Paswall of Katonah was recently sued by three former employees to enforce a $4.2 million jury verdict.
Three women who were terminated from the jobs at a chiropractor’s office won a $4.2 million court judgment back in 2015, but are now filing a new lawsuit against their former employer to “stop him from using bankruptcy court to avoid paying them.” The new suit was filed by Melissa Rodriguez of Yonkers, Marlena Santana of the Bronx and Yasminda Davis of Roselle Park, New Jersey, on Dec. 10 in federal bankruptcy court against Bruce J. Paswall of Katonah. Specifically, they are “asking the court to stop Paswall from discharging a court judgment they won for repeated and illegal pregnancy discrimination.”
Paswall is a chiropractor and former owner and operator of G.E.B. Medical Management Inc. in Manhattan. Rodriguez, Santana, and Davis were employed by Paswall in 2006 and 2007, but they ended up suing him and his business in 2008 over allegations that “he had imposed intolerable work conditions, mocked and shunned them after they became pregnant and created false scenarios to justify firing them.” For example, he told “Santana not to have children” and told Davis ‘you better not get pregnant,” according to court documents. Additionally, he also “subjected Rodriguez to forced medical testing.” As a result, a jury awarded the women close to $6.2 million. However, Paswall requested a new trial, claiming “the evidence was insufficient to support the jury’s verdict.” Though a judge denied his request, the award was lowered to $4,192,938.
Unfortunately for the three women, Paswall “petitioned the bankruptcy court for Chapter 7 liquidation, declaring assets of $18,028 and liabilities of $4.8 million” back in September. Included in his petition is $3.5 he owes the three women. He also “describes the debts as disputed.”
However, last month Mark S. Tulis, a U.S. Trustee overseeing Paswall’s bankruptcy case, sued Paswall’s adult sons, Grant and Reid Paswall, for $650,000 alleging that when the jury awarded the money to Rodriguez, Santana, and Davis, Paswall “transferred ownership of his $1.1 million house to his sons for no payment, and they accepted the transfer with the intent to hinder, delay and defraud creditors.”
How does the bankruptcy affect the women, though? Why are they having to fight for their award? Well, when Paswall filed for bankruptcy, “the court automatically stopped enforcement of the Bronx court judgment and granted Bruce Paswall protection against creditors.” In their new suit, the three women claim the “collection of debts incurred by willful and malicious injury, as a result of discriminatory firing, may not be stopped.” Their case is being represented by Scott A. Lucas, a Manhattan attorney.