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LANL Employees File Complaint Against Former Supervisor

on December 4, 2013 - 5:39pm

Tony Stanford

By CAROL A. CLARK
Los Alamos Daily Post

Attorney John Day filed a complaint in First District Court in Santa Fe this afternoon against Los Alamos National Security, LLC, Los Alamos National Laboratory and Anthony "Tony" R. Stanford for assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligent hiring, supervision and retention.

Day, of EGOLF, FERLIC & DAY, LLC, filed the complaint on behalf of his clients Erika and William Gorman of Los Alamos who worked for Stanford at LANL.

Attorney John Day

"This was a horrifying situation, Erika was assaulted by her high ranking employer who demanded sex ... she complained to high level Laboratory officials who did nothing to help her, instead they rewarded the perpetrator by allowing him to retire with full benefits," Day told the Los Alamos Daily Post today. "Mr. Stanford supervised both Erika and her husband William and he knew William was aware of what he was doing and he didn't care. His behavior was that of a pig and the Lab took no action to step in and stop it."

LANL spokesperson Steve Sandoval said, "The Laboratory does not comment on pending litigation."

Stanford, 56, was in charge of the LANL's Emergency Operations Center on West Jemez Road. Los Alamos police filed charges against Stanford Feb. 4 for battery and assault. The charges stemmed from a sexual harassment case filed against Stanford by Gorman who stated at the time that Stanford behaved inappropriately toward her on several occasions including in an elevator Nov. 28, 2012 at the Emergency Operations Center.

She also stated that Stanford made inappropriate comments and exhibited inappropriate behavior in his office at the EOC and while riding together in LANL vehicles to meetings.

Gorman reported Stanford's behavior Jan. 14 to Los Alamos police detectives who launched an investigation into the case. She told detectives that it all began with a comment Stanford made to her in the parking lot outside of work, according to her statements in the police report.

The employee reported that Stanford told her that he found her very attractive and "if she wasn`t married he would pursue her hard." She added that Stanford later made a comment that she was a "sensuous and sensual women" and he told her he was having a hard time concentrating when she was around.

She told police that after a month of this type of behavior, Stanford began to proposition her for sex and she went into more detail and more incidents throughout her typed statement. According to the police report, Gorman also said that Stanford gave her a Christmas gift of two watches in December 2012, telling her not to tell her husband about the more expensive watch.

The woman provided emails between Stanford and her that corroborated some of the information she was reporting, according to the police report. As part of their investigation, detectives also obtained a subpoena, which they presented to LANL's legal office requesting records related to the case from LANL's Human Resources Department.

In the report police received from LANL, there is an email dated Dec. 18, 2012 at 5:11 p.m. from Stanford to the employee stating, "I am ok w/ you letting (your husband) know that you got the first fun watch - it isn`t that expensive - your call, just let me know."

Also, in the police report when detectives questioned Stanford about whether he ever propositioned the employee for sex, he said that he did and that she replied, "not gonna happen." When questioned as to his intent in asking her that, Stanford said he had no intent on having an affair with her ... that it was `flirtatious." Stanford also made the statement that he "obviously" offended the employee and he wished "she would have been more upfront with him."

Today's complaint filed in District Court:

STATE OF NEW MEXICO
COUNTY OF SANTA FE
FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT
ERIKA GORMAN and WILLIAM GORMAN, Plaintiffs,
v.
LOS ALAMOS NATIONAL SECURITY, LLC, d/b/a LOS ALAMOS NATIONAL LABORATORY, and ANTHONY STANFORD, Defendants.

ERIKA AND WILLIAM GORMAN’S COMPLAINT FOR ASSAULT, BATTERY, INTENTIONAL INFLICTION OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS, NEGLIGENT HIRING, SUPERVISION AND RETENTION 

COME NOW Plaintiffs Erika and William Gorman, by and through counsel, EGOLF, FERLIC & DAY, LLC, and bring this complaint against Los Alamos National Security, LLC (“LANS”), and Anthony Stanford for assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligent hiring, supervision and retention. Erika and William Gorman allege as follows:

PARTIES

1. Ms. Gorman is a LANS employee, and was so employed at all times material to this Complaint.
2. Mr. Gorman is a LANS employee, and was so employed at all times material to this Complaint.
3. Ms. Gorman and Mr. Gorman are residents of Los Alamos County, New Mexico.
4. LANS is the corporate entity that contracts with the federal government to manage and operate Los Alamos National Laboratory (“LANL”).
5. LANS is a limited liability company organized under the laws of the state of Delaware and located in Los Alamos County.
6. LANL is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory located in Los Alamos County.
7. Anthony Stanford was a LANS employee and high-ranking supervisor at all times material to this Complaint.
8. Stanford is a resident of Santa Fe County, New Mexico.
9. At all times material hereto, Stanford was an agent and employee of LANS.
10. At all times material hereto, Stanford was acting within the scope of his duties.
11. LANS is vicariously liable for the conduct of Stanford through the doctrine of respondeat superior and other doctrines of vicarious liability.
12. LANS is liable for its own conduct in the negligent hiring, negligent supervision and negligent retention of Stanford.

JURISDICTION & VENUE

13. This court has personal jurisdiction over the parties herein.
14. As a court of general jurisdiction, this Court has subject matter jurisdiction herein.
15. Venue is proper pursuant to NMSA 1978, Section 38-3-1(A)-(F) (1875-76, as amended through 1988).

FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS

16. Ms. Gorman began working for LANS in 2009.
17. Stanford was the high-ranking LANS official responsible for hiring Ms. Gorman.
18. From the time of her hiring at LANS, Ms. Gorman reasonably believed that Stanford possessed the power and authority to fire her, to affect the conditions of her continued employment and to direct her conduct as a LANS employee.
19. Though Ms. Gorman and Stanford initially worked in the same department, Ms. Gorman subsequently transferred to the Chemical and Metallurgy Research (“CMR”) department.
20. In 2012, Ms. Gorman was an emergency planning and preparedness specialist at CMR.
21. In June or July of 2012, Stanford transferred to CMR and became Ms. Gorman’s supervisor.
22. Ms. Gorman’s husband, William Gorman, also worked in CMR. Stanford also served as Mr. Gorman’s supervisor.
23. Prior to Stanford’s transfer to CMR, Stanford knew that Ms. Gorman was married to William Gorman.
24. Within one to two weeks of Stanford joining CMR, he approached Ms. Gorman in the parking lot of their shared workplace and told her that he found her very attractive and that, if she were not married, he would “pursue her hard.” Ms. Gorman understood this comment to means that Stanford desired a sexual relationship with Ms. Gorman.
25. Ms. Gorman told Stanford that she was happily married. In response Stanford laughed before leaving the scene in his car. Ms. Gorman understood his laughter to mean that Stanford would continue with his pursuit of a sexual relationship with her.
26. About a week later, during work hours and on LANS property, Stanford told Ms. Gorman that he had always thought that she was beautiful and sexually desirable but he thought that he would be able to keep his feelings of sexual desire under control. In spite of his statement that he was able to control himself in Ms. Gorman’s presence, Stanford admitted that, because of his intense desire to begin a sexual relationship with Ms. Gorman, he was having difficulty concentrating on his work and his duties.
27. At this same encounter, Stanford told Ms. Gorman that she was a “very sensuous and sensual woman.”
28. Ms. Gorman rejected Stanford’s inappropriate sexual advances and conduct, letting him know that she was not interested in a romantic relationship with him.
29. Within a few weeks following Ms. Gorman’s initial rejection of Stanford’s unwanted sexual advances, Stanford was making comments to Ms. Gorman several times a day about his desire to have sex with Ms. Gorman, his intense physical desire for Ms. Gorman and his inability to focus clearly when he was in Ms. Gorman’s presence at work.
30. Among Stanford’s inappropriate comments were statements that he could not get Ms. Gorman off his mind, that he thought about her constantly, and that he had not felt such intense feelings of sexual desire toward a woman for nearly thirty years.
31. Stanford told Ms. Gorman that she reminded him of his first girlfriend, who, like Ms. Gorman, had red hair; he also asked Ms. Gorman whether the “carpet matched the drapes,” an inquiry into whether her pubic hair was red like the hair on her head.
32. Stanford began to refer to Ms. Gorman as “his cinnamon girl,” or “CG.”
33. Ms. Gorman continued to tell Stanford that she was not interested in him and was happily married.
34. Within one month of becoming her supervisor at CMR, Stanford threatened to transfer Ms. Gorman. Stanford stated that he felt compelled to transfer Ms. Gorman because he was having difficulty controlling his sexual desire for Ms. Gorman and was having difficulty working as a result. He also threatened to move her to an office in a remote location of the lab for the same reason.
35. At the same time Stanford threatened to transfer Ms. Gorman, Stanford suggested to Ms. Gorman that they have an affair.
36. Stanford implied that, if Ms. Gorman had sex with him, he would arrange for her to receive a promotion to a management position and that she could keep her job at CMR.
37. Ms. Gorman felt threatened and intimidated by Stanford’s relentless, unwanted and egregious pursuit of a sexual encounter with her, and she believed that she would lose her job with LANS if she refused to have a sexual relationship with Stanford.
38. Ms. Gorman also believed her husband’s job and his future prospects at LANS were at risk if she did not agree to have a sexual affair with Stanford.
39. In August 2012, Ms. Gorman reported Stanford’s behavior to Mr. Stanford’s supervisor, Charles Anderson, Associate Director for Nuclear and High Hazard Operations. Anderson was one of the highest-ranking lab officials at LANS/LANL.
40. Ms. Gorman continued to report Stanford’s behavior to Anderson throughout the fall of 2012.
41. Despite actual knowledge and notice of Stanford’s behavior, Anderson did nothing to stop Stanford from harassing Ms. Gorman.
42. Stanford began to ask Ms. Gorman multiple times per day whether she would have an affair and / or sex with him. With each passing day, the advances and comments became more and more graphic.
43. Stanford told Ms. Gorman that he had been conducting research on how to engage in an illicit sexual affair without getting caught, and he told her he had discovered a website that offered detailed advice and tips on how to keep a workplace affair a secret. Stanford directed Ms. Gorman to look up the website in order to learn how to conduct an illicit affair.
44. Ms. Gorman told Stanford repeatedly that she was not interested in an affair with him, that she would not have sex with him and that she was happily married to William Gorman.
45. Stanford told Ms. Gorman dozens of times that he had set his mind to having sex with her and that he would not stop until he had her. Stanford told her that he never failed to get what he wanted once he set his mind to it.
46. Stanford then began to ask Ms. Gorman multiple times per day whether, if she would not agree to an affair, they could just have sex once.
47. Stanford said that if Ms. Gorman agreed to have sex with him once, it would help him get her “out of his system” and he could promote her.
48. Because Stanford was William Gorman’s supervisor, too, he knew when Ms. Gorman’s husband was out of town. When Ms. Gorman’s husband was out of town, Stanford would put increased pressure on Ms. Gorman for sex. He would suggest that he come over to her house, which was near their workplace at the lab, so that they could have sex.
49. Mr. Gorman knew about Stanford’s harassment of his wife because she shared her worry and concern with him about Stanford’s conduct, but he reasonably feared for both of their jobs and future with LANS if he acted on the information.
50. Stanford told Ms. Gorman that he was very good in bed because he had extensive sexual experience and would be able to please her sexually. Stanford repeatedly bragged to Ms. Gorman that he had had hundreds of sexual partners.
51. In trying to convince Ms. Gorman to sleep with him, Stanford told Ms. Gorman, “The older the fiddle, the sweeter the tune” (referring to his penis).
52. In the fall of 2012, Stanford ordered Ms. Gorman to attend a meeting with two male colleagues and told her to wear something low-cut in order to show off her breasts, flirt with the men and “use her powers for good for a change.”
53. During the fall of 2012, Stanford frequently called Ms. Gorman to tell her that he needed a hug.
54. Stanford told Ms. Gorman that he could buy her whatever she wanted in exchange for sex, like jewelry or other expensive gifts.
55. Stanford also told Ms. Gorman that he could get her a promotion in exchange for sex.
56. Stanford made innumerable comments about Ms. Gorman’s body and clothing, including:
a. “you have such a fine ass;”
b. “those pants really showcase what a fine ass you have;” and
c. “you should wear that bra everyday because it really enhances your gorgeous breasts.”
57. When the topic of a scheduled workplace sexual harassment training came up, Stanford told Ms. Gorman that he hoped he would learn how to improve his harassment techniques.
58. Knowing that it would give him extended time with Ms. Gorman away from their shared office space, Stanford repeatedly ordered Ms. Gorman to accompany him on car rides to off-site locations.
59. During these car rides, Stanford would put his hand on Ms. Gorman’s thigh and other parts of her body. She repeatedly and unfailingly tried to move away physically from him in those instances because the physical contact was unwanted and offensive to her. She firmly told Stanford she was not interested in him. Her efforts to get away from Stanford were limited by the size of the car. Stanford took maximum advantage of the fact that he had Ms. Gorman contained in a small isolated space.
60. On or about Nov. 28, 2012, Stanford and Ms. Gorman were riding in an elevator together at their shared workplace at LANS. Stanford pinned Ms. Gorman against the elevator wall with his body, prevented her from moving away and tried to kiss her. Ms. Gorman yelled at Stanford and pushed him off. Stanford said, “You can’t blame a guy for trying.”
61. When Stanford would force himself on Ms. Gorman in an unwanted embrace, he would push his groin against her in a sexually aggressive and suggestive manner.
62. On or about Dec. 10, 2012, Stanford introduced Ms. Gorman to a group of men at the LANS office Christmas party. He told the men that Ms. Gorman was his employee and was also a $500 per night prostitute.
63. Stanford told Ms. Gorman, after she wore a dress to the office Christmas party, that she had sexy legs and should wear dresses more often. After the party, Stanford informed Ms. Gorman that he had told the males at the party that Ms. Gorman was a $500 per night prostitute.
64. At the Christmas party, Stanford made a comment that he wanted tips to improve his sexual harassment technique. This comment was made in front of a group of male LANS employees and in the presence of both Mr. and Ms. Gorman.
65. Throughout the fall of 2012, Stanford implied that, if Ms. Gorman had an affair or had sex with him, he would assist her in getting promoted into a management position. He told her directly and numerous times that he was going to get her into management, and that if she had sex with him that she would need to think of someone to replace her in her old position. Stanford directed Ms. Gorman to polish her resume and collect advertisements for openings to which she could apply, and report back to him on these efforts. He told her to tell other staff members that he was mentoring her. He would forward emails between himself and other high-level staff to Ms. Gorman and tell her to study how managers act.
66. One of the ways in which Stanford encouraged Ms. Gorman to “act like a manager” was to answer her work cell phone during evenings and weekends when he would call her frequently for non-work related conversation.
67. Stanford would get angry with Ms. Gorman if she did not pick up her cell phone when he called or if she failed immediately to return his emails.
68. Stanford admitted his wrongdoing to Ms. Gorman on several occasions. Stanford stated to her that he knew he should stop harassing Ms. Gorman because she “had so much dirt” on him, and that he “would be ruined” if she went to the LANS human resources office. He told her on several occasions that he was going to be more careful sending emails to her so that there would be less evidence against him.
69. When the national media scandal involving Gen. David Petraeus, Director of Central Intelligence, broke in November 2012, Stanford again worried to Ms. Gorman that he was at risk of getting caught. Stanford told Ms. Gorman that he felt terrible about his improper behavior toward her, and stated that he had been inappropriate and had not respected Ms. Gorman, and that he was sorry. Ms. Gorman told Stanford that she did not like how he treated her, and that his behavior was not welcome, but that she did not want him to feel terrible. He replied, “I know how you could make me feel better!”, implying that he would feel better if she would have sex with him.
70. On or about Dec. 17, 2012, Stanford gave Ms. Gorman two watches for Christmas. He told her that she should not tell her husband about the more expensive watch, and keep it a secret between the two of them.
71. Immediately after delivering the watches to Ms. Gorman, Stanford asked her what she was getting him for Christmas. She replied that she was not getting him anything. He said that the least she could do was give him a hug or kiss. Stanford then attempted to physically pin Ms. Gorman up against the wall of his LANS office with his arms and body, but she escaped his grip and ran out of his office.
72. On or about December 18, 2012, Ms. Gorman called Charlie Anderson, the highranking LANS supervisor to whom she had previously reported Stanford conduct, to tell him that she could no longer tolerate Stanford’s sexual aggression and intimidation. Charlie Anderson apologized to Ms. Gorman for not having done something sooner to address Stanford’s actions. Anderson told Ms. Gorman to come to his office to meet with the division’s human resources representative.
73. After hanging up with Ms. Gorman, Charlie Anderson called William Gorman and apologized to him for not having taken care of Stanford’s harassment and intimidation sooner. He directed Mr. Gorman to come to his office.
74. When Mr. and Ms. Gorman arrived at Charlie Anderson’s office, Anderson informed them that he had self-reported his prior knowledge of the Stanford harassment to LANS human resources officials Chris James and Barbara Pacheco, and that he was formally recusing himself from participating any further because of his prior involvement.
75. On or about Dec. 18, 2012, Ms. Gorman reported Stanford’s behavior to LANS’ human resources department.
76. On or about Jan. 14, 2013, Ms. Gorman reported Stanford’s behavior to the Los Alamos Police Department.
77. On or about Jan. 17, 2013, Ms. Gorman sought, and was granted, a temporary restraining order against Stanford. The restraining order was issued by a First Judicial District Court judge after a lengthy hearing in which Stanford took the witness stand and testified and repeatedly confessed, under oath, to his conduct and actions against Ms. Gorman.
78. On Feb. 6, 2013, the District Court granted Ms. Gorman an extended temporary restraining order against Stanford.
79. On or about Feb. 7, 2013, LANS gave Stanford the option of termination or retirement with complete benefits from LANS. Stanford elected to retire with full benefits.
80. On Feb. 4, 2013, the District Attorney of the First Judicial District filed criminal charges against Stanford for assault and battery in Los Alamos County
Magistrate Court.
81. The conduct of Anthony Stanford and LANS resulted in significant emotional and psychological distress to Ms. Gorman and Mr. Gorman.

COUNT I: BATTERY

82. Ms. Gorman realleges and reasserts the allegations contained in all prior paragraphs of this Complaint as if fully set forth herein.
83. Stanford intentionally touched or applied force to Ms. Gorman’s body without consent or justification, which caused Ms. Gorman damage.

COUNT II: ASSAULT

84. Ms. Gorman realleges and reasserts the allegations contained in all prior paragraphs of this Complaint as if fully set forth herein.
85. On multiple occasions, Stanford’s conduct put Ms. Gorman in reasonable fear of suffering an immediate battery, which caused Ms. Gorman damage.

COUNT III: INTENTIONAL INFLICTION OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS

86. Erika and William Gorman reallege and reassert the allegations contained in all prior paragraphs of this Complaint as if fully set forth herein.
87. Stanford’s conduct was extreme and outrageous under the circumstances and would shock the conscience of any reasonable person
88. Stanford acted intentionally, knowingly, wilfully recklessly.
89. As a result of Stanford’s conduct, both Plaintiffs’ experienced severe emotional injury, which was and is manifested in the form of emotional distress and physical injury.

COUNT IV: RESPONDEAT SUPERIOR

90. Erika and William Gorman reallege and reassert the allegations contained in all prior paragraphs of this Complaint as if fully set forth herein.
91. Each time Stanford’s actions or inactions caused injury to the Plaintiffs, he was an employee and agent of LANS.
92. Each time Stanford’s actions or inactions caused injury to the Plaintiffs, he was acting in the course and scope of his duties as a LANS employee and high-level supervisor.
93. LANS is liable for Stanford’s wrongful acts.

COUNT V: NEGLIGENT HIRING, SUPERVISION & RETENTION

94. Erika and William Gorman reallege and reassert the allegations contained in all prior paragraphs of this Complaint as if fully set forth herein.
95. LANS knew or should have known that hiring, supervising, and/or retaining Stanford gave rise to an unreasonable risk of injury to female employees and/or females under the control and direction of Stanford.
96. LANS was on notice of Stanford’s aggressive harassment and obsession with Ms. Gorman and failed to take action.
97. LANS knew that Stanford was unfit to be employed or to supervise other employees at the lab.
98. LANS failed to use ordinary care in hiring, supervising, and/or retaining Stanford.
99. LANS authorized, participated in, or ratified the conduct of Stanford in failing to intervene despite numerous notifications of his treatment of Ms. Gorman.
100. LANS’s negligence in hiring, supervising, and/or retaining Stanford was a proximate cause of Ms. Gorman’s and Mr. Gorman’s injuries.

JURY DEMAND

Ms. Gorman and Mr. Gorman demand a jury of six persons.

PRAYER FOR RELIEF

WHEREFORE, Ms. Gorman and Mr. Gorman respectfully pray for and demand judgment against Defendants as follows:
(a) compensatory damages, including for physical injury, mental distress, fear, severe anxiety, emotional suffering, and other consequential, incidental, and special damages, under any or all of the causes of action, in
an amount to be determined at trial;
(b) punitive and exemplary damages, in an amount to be determined at trial;
(c) all prejudgment and post judgment interest legally available;
(d) reasonable costs of the action herein;
(e) reasonable attorney's fees; and
(f) any other such further relief as the Court deems just and proper.

Respectfully submitted,
EGOLF, FERLIC & DAY, LC
By: JOHN W. DAY
128 Grant St., Third Floor
Santa Fe, 87501
(505) 986-9641
fax (505) 214-2005
Attorneys for Plaintiffs


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