Home health agency seeks change of venue in harassment case

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau May 9, 2011, 2:53pm

GALVESTON - The defendants in a sexual harassment lawsuit filed two months ago are requesting a change of venue.

In court papers filed April 1 in the Galveston County 10th District Court, Living Hope Home Healthcare Inc. and Tiju Thomas ask the court to transfer Dimitri Norris's suit to Harris County.

Norris, a Harris County resident, is suing the home health agency and Thomas in response to some sexually explicit emails she reportedly received last year. The original petition was filed last March 11.

Norris has been an employee of the defendant since January 2009. She claims that Thomas coerced her to decide between his sexual demands and foregoing job-related benefits on continued employment.

The suit accuses Norris's employer of engaging in sex discrimination with malice or reckless indifference to the plaintiff's rights and insists that "the plaintiff has exhausted all administrative prerequisites to bringing this action."

The defendants contend that the complainant's claims and allegations fall outside the scope of her discrimination charge and demand strict proof of all allegations against them.

They assert the case should be heard in Houston because "there is no basis for maintenance of this lawsuit in Galveston County, and (they) specifically deny that venue is appropriate in Galveston County."

Norris consequently seeks unspecified monetary damages.

She is represented by attorney Jack D. Nolan of Houston.

The defendants are represented by attorney Nitin Sud of Houston.

Case No. 11-cv-0452

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