Appellate Court Revives Lawsuit Against Steve Wynn and Wynn Resorts

A sexual harassment lawsuit that was filed against the former CEO of Wynn Resorts, Steve Wynn, and the company itself by nine women will go forward after a decision made by the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Tuesday. In the original ruling, the suit was dismissed in July 2020 by James Mahan, a US District Judge. He claimed that the pleadings of the victims were “too vague.”

Wynn Resorts Spokesman Had No Comment on the Case

On October 4, the appellate ruling stated that the action of the District Court was partly affirmed and partly reversed, which is why it was remanded back to the court. A Wynn Resorts spokesman did not comment on Tuesday following the reversed decision.

Additionally, Steve Wynn was off the radar, but a representative of his stated that he wants to be a private citizen; hence he chose not to be available for reporters. The original case against the former CEO of Wynn was filed more than two years ago, in March 2019. That was exactly a year after Wynn left the company due to allegations of sexual harassment.

Even though he denied the accusations, Wynn decided to leave the company in February 2018 after a Wall Street Journal story made them public a month earlier.

Victims of the case decided to remain anonymous and be referred to only as Judy Does out of fear that if they presented themselves in their real names, Wynn could file retaliatory defamation suits. Moreover, they argued that their lives might be turned upside down and/or create problems at work.

However, they did identify themselves as employees at Wynn Las Vegas who were working as make-up artists or as manicurists.

Steve Wynn (Allegedly) Harassed The Victims on Multiple Occasions

According to the victims, they suffered “individualized acts of sexual harassment,” as well as personal degradation, all of which were similar. Wynn harassed them on multiple occasions, under various circumstances and with different duration.

To make things even worse, the filing also states that Wynn Resorts was aware of the misconduct that Steve Wynn had against its employees; however, it did not investigate the allegations and even covered up misconducts that were reported. The case was also revived in Nevada.

Since these events, Wynn Resorts has created anti-harassment policies and recruited new board members, three of which are women.

The ruling of Mahan’s District Court stated that the nine victims of the case didn’t succeed in their decision to use pseudonyms, but more importantly, they used collective pleading in an improper way, rather than pleading with individual facts. Pleading individual facts is a key requirement in claims of sexual harassment.

In the appellate court’s ruling, it states that Judy Does expressed the desire to provide extra information numerous times just as long as their privacy is guaranteed. Even though the victims didn’t have an automatic right for an amended complaint filing, the District Court should’ve granted leave to amend when dismissing claims that could be solved by providing additional facts.

Case attorneys have two weeks to respond and the appellate court has decided that each party will cover its own court expenses.

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