Symphony violinist's lawsuit dismissed
Violinist Peter Kaman's personal-injury lawsuit against the Seattle Symphony was dismissed this morning in King County Superior Court, but...
Seattle Times music critic
Violinist Peter Kaman's personal-injury lawsuit against the Seattle Symphony was dismissed this morning in King County Superior Court, but Kaman isn't done fighting: "This case isn't over until the fat lady sings," he said following the ruling.
The Seattle Symphony violinist plans to appeal Judge Catherine Shaffer's dismissal of his discrimination suit. The lawsuit originally presented two claims of discrimination and one claim alleging "outrage," or "the intentional infliction of emotional distress," according to Kaman's attorney, Brenda Little. The two discrimination claims were dismissed last November; the third claim was dismissed Friday.
A statement released by Seattle Symphony publicist Rosalie Contreras said: "The decision confirms that the claims in this lawsuit were not supported by the evidence. The Symphony is committed to providing a positive and productive work environment for its members and will continue to focus on bringing our community the world's best music."
But Kaman said the judge had dismissed the case "because there was a statute of limitations of three years on the outrage claim. I filed the suit in February of 2006, and the claim went back to 2003. She ruled against me, but she went on to state that if she were to rule on all 24 years [of Kaman's employment] she would immediately send the case to trial. I had ample proof of outrage." His complaint had alleged "intentional emotional distress arising out of the hostile environment and harassment ... over a long and extended period of time."
Kaman said he would appeal in appellate court, which has "the power to extend the statute of limitations." The Symphony, he said, "did a good job using the law to fight me on procedural issues. I actually agreed with the judge; the last three years did not constitute outrage. But the continuous 24 years as a whole provided ample proof of it. I feel more confident than ever before about my appeal."
The lawsuit, which was the centerpiece of a major New York Times story last month, is a matter of principle for the violinist, who says he has to "look at myself in the mirror and stand up for what is right."
At present, Kaman is taking an accrued 90 days of sick leave, which finishes Feb. 29. At that time, he said, he may decide to return to the orchestra.
Melinda Bargreen: email@example.com
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