Female lifeguard’s sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit settled

A settlement has been reached in a Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit filed by a former county lifeguard, Elizabeth Robbins. Robbins alleged that she was sexually harassed and injured during a training exercise and later experienced retaliation when she reported how her male colleagues had treated her.

Robbins had filed the lawsuit in February 2012 against the county and David Carr, her supervisor, stating that she began working when she was nineteen (19) in the lifeguard division of the county Fire Department in 2003, and was assigned to Will Rogers State Beach. She alleged that Carr came to her high school when she was 14 and tried to convince her to skip class to be with him. After she joined, he made inappropriate sexually oriented comments and “leered” at her.

As per the complaint, on August 4, 2011, Carr had asked her to accompany him on what he claimed was a training session. He told her to ride on a rescue sled that was towed with his personal watercraft. The complaint further states that Carr drove the watercraft in high speed causing injuries to Robbins’ head when she slammed against the sled. The complaint states that she “immediately feared that Carr was trying to kill or paralyze her.”

Carr and other supervisors asked her to provide false information about her injuries related to the incident. She however, decided to tell the truth about what she had to go through. She reported that she was even afraid to leave her home in fear of being stalked and harassed by personnel in other departments. She states that Carr did not like seeing women in supervisory positions and resented her for wanting to test for a promotion.

Judge Elizabeth Feffer had earlier tossed Robbins’ allegations of battery and a second sexual harassment cause of action that was further alleging gender violence.

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