A Eugene spinal surgeon will have to pay for sexually harassing a former employee, after Kafoury & McDougal convinced a jury that the doctor’s abuse forced her to quit.
Neurosurgeon Glenn Keiper inappropriately touched and sexually harassed Chere Bergstrom over the six years she worked for him as a scrub tech. The jury found neurosurgeon Keiper committed battery, sexual harassment and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The jury awarded Chere Bergstrom over $1.4 million plus attorney fees ($21,000 economic for lost wages, $615,000 noneconomic, and $800,000 in punitive damages.)
Keiper subjected Bergstrom to relentless harassment when she was just trying to do her job. She complained to the director of nursing that during surgeries, the doctor was “drooling all over here.” Her complaint to the CEO, then ignored. He grabbed her butt and told her she had a “tight ass.” He asked her if she was a “masochist,” if “she liked being called a bitch,” if “she liked being cut” and “having her hair pulled.” The final straw was when he asked if she “knew how to have multiple orgasms” and if not, he said he might “call her husband to teach him how,” according to court documents.
Bergstrom told the press that the ruling makes her feel “validated and strong again.”
The ruling held Bergstrom’s abuser accountable. It also stopped a serial abuser in his tracks.
A 2010 investigation by the Bureau of Labor and Industries found that Keiper had previously sexually harassed and physically abused a second former employee. In the BOLI file, the former employee complained that Keiper said to her “I want to ‘do you’ from behind and break your pelvis (while pulling her hair from behind).” That finding didn’t stop Keiper from doing the same kind of thing to Bergstrom, but paying a $1.4 million verdict might.
The defense brought in over a dozen medical professionals aligned with Dr. Keiper to testify that none of the abuse happened. Much of the verbal abuse took place in the OR, and all others present in the OR denied that Dr. Keiper ever said what Chere Bergstrom alleged. The jury disbelieved all of those witnesses.
If your boss or coworker has sexually harassed or abused you, call Kafoury & McDougal. We’ll get you the justice you deserve.