Board members insist conduct was 'lawful,' original answers say

By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau | Apr 15, 2013

GALVESTON - The defendants in a local woman's lawsuit claiming "constant harassment" and a "hostile environment" refute the plaintiff's allegations against them.

Pamela S. Froeschner and Robert S. Evans each filed original answers to Kelly Gavin's suit on April 12, stating their interaction with Gavin has legal backing.

In court papers filed in February, Gavin claims Froeschner and Evans's alleged actions and misconduct forced her to resign from her job with the AIDS Coalition of Coastal Texas.

The suit asserts the defendants, who were members of the Galveston AIDS Foundation Inc.’s board of directors, visited the ACCT offices and verbally harassed Gavin, stating they reportedly committed the acts in question “even in the presence of some of ACCT’s clients.”

It adds the plaintiff fielded complaints in response to the “totally unacceptable” actions to no avail as the organization’s board of directors unsuccessfully blocked Froeschner and Evans’s access to the plaintiff’s workplace.

Aside from purported verbal abuse, the respondents tried to get Gavin fired, but after their efforts failed, they continued their harassment until she “could take no more and resigned from her employment,” the original petition says.

The defendants' formal responses state their conduct was "lawful and consistent with community standards."

"The defendant(s) are not responsible for the plaintiffs' damages, if any, because his conduct was permissible as that term is known in law," the documents say.

Froeschner and Evans both deny they are liable in the capacity in which they are sued.

They are represented by attorney Bill Griffey of Mills Shirley L.L.P. in Galveston.

Case No. 13-CV-240

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