Saturday, September 11, 2010

Debra Opri Opinion on Britney Spears Harassment Case

Britney Spears' Ex-Bodyguard Must Prove Ongoing Harassment, says Nationally Known Expert Legal Analyst, Attorney DEBRA OPRI: Burden is on Fernando Flores to prove his hostile work environment.
(Los Angeles, CA September 10, 2010) After mounting a successful comeback and maintaining a relatively low profile in the press for the past year, Britney Spears must now deal with, what some are calling, a ridiculous bout of disturbing claims regarding her personal life.
On Wednesday (Sept. 8, 2010), Spears' former bodyguard, Fernando Flores, filed a sexual harassment lawsuit alleging that the singer made multiple unwelcome passes at him, exposed herself on numerous occasions and engaged in sex in front of her two young sons. Not surprisingly, a post on Spears' site denied the allegations.
"What filing this case and making these allegations by Flores means is that he will have to show he was subjected to a hostile work environment with solid evidence," says DEBRA OPRI. "If this even goes to trial - which is highly unlikely due to the fact of the exorbitant expense of bringing a civil case like this to a courtroom - a Judge, as well as a jury, will look for material evidence, in the form of official complaints from [Spears'] previous employees. There may be an outside chance that Flores' documented concerns and voiced these to friends indicating wrongdoing on the defendant's part," says Ms. Opri.
As an expert in the field, Opri states there is no question that California's sexual harassment laws are "employee-friendly" with no cap on punitive damages. However, the onus is still on Flores to demonstrate the extent to which his experience and employment status with Spears affected him.
The suit states that Flores reported an incident in which Spears called him up to her room "for no other purpose or reason than to expose her naked or near naked body to Plaintiff." According to the suit, Flores apparently voiced his issues several times to his superior, but "his complaints were ignored or mocked, and no action was taken to rectify the situation."
According to Opri, "What courts and what juries look [for] is: Did he act consistently with the way you would expect someone to act who was actually offended by this type of conduct? In other words, did he make complaints? Did he tell her to stop? Did he talk to his friends and colleagues? Is there corroboration that, at the time this was happening, it was actually bothering him and is there anyone willing to come forward and be able to testify?"
What is most disturbing to family law expert Debra Opri is the allegation of child abuse and/or child neglect. "The child abuse accusations Flores' threw into this legal filing are outrageous and if they were true," explains Opri, "wouldn't DCFS had different findings the last time they investigated the children? If the kids were negatively affected, wouldn't ex-husband Kevin Federline have noticed something wrong with their children and have reported it to DCFS?"
The fact of the matter is that the bottom line is always money. "Cash trumps all," Opri emphasized and moving forward with a suit like this in our justice system is going to cost all parties - including the Court for added staffing - to properly proceed.
More on Debra Opri go to her website.

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