Posted by Garrison, Levin-Epstein, Fitzgerald & Pirrotti, P.C. in News
Dec 5 2022
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A former AMR New Haven EMT claims in a lawsuit that she was sexually assaulted and the company didn’t handle it properly.
Anna Broggi, who filed the lawsuit against AMR in March, said she’s doing this so no other woman has to experience the same thing she has.
“I realized how much I loved it and how it really spoke to my soul and what I wanted to be doing,” Broggi said about her dream of becoming an EMT.
Since she was little, Broggi wanted to work in the medical field. In January 2019, that dream came true. She was hired as an EMT at AMR in New Haven. Soon, that dream turned out to be different than reality.
“The first change I want to see made is that I am the last female that this ever happens to,” Broggi said.
In November 2020, a former co-worker of Broggi’s allegedly sexually assaulted her in a parking lot near work.
“I went to two separate managers on two separate occasions and reported being sexually assaulted to them. And the response, I felt, was completely inadequate,” Broggi said.
So, that’s why Broggi eventually filed a lawsuit. In that document, it shows that when she went to the first supervisor, they did not take any action. They claimed the alleged assault happened in a place that was “not technically owned by AMR”, according to the lawsuit.
When she went to a second supervisor, the document says she was visibly upset, recalling what happened. He responded by saying, “Calm down, this is not a big deal, you should not be getting so worked up.”
That supervisor has since been demoted. But her alleged assailant was welcomed back to work, after a short leave. Broggi tried to avoid him.
“There was definitely a lot of switching my schedule around, or looking at the schedule before I would agree to pick up a shift,” Broggi said.
The lawsuit also details a so-called “boys club” atmosphere at AMR, where sexual harassment is tolerated. And if women want to get promoted, the lawsuit says the atmosphere promotes the message that they, “Can’t succeed unless you concede.”
An AMR spokesperson said they take allegations of harassment very seriously.
“New leadership has been named overseeing the New Haven operation, and in management above that operation, within the past year,” a statement said in part. “Police have previously investigated this matter as well, and no criminal charges were prosecuted. We do not comment on ongoing or pending litigation of any kind.”
Still, Broggi will not give up her fight.
“Although my name might be on the legal documents, I really want to represent that I am one female that this has happened to,” Broggi said. “For women that feel like they aren’t being listened to, don’t give up. Keep fighting. Keep going. Because eventually, someone is going to listen to you.”
At this point, the lawsuit is still pending. Broggi and her lawyers are demanding a jury pick this case up.
In the meantime, New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker said the allegations in the lawsuit were “very disturbing.”
“The New Haven Police Department has already investigated allegations made by one employee, and if additional information comes to light on that case or if other AMR employees or patients have concerns about acts of sexual assault, misconduct or other possible criminal offenses, we encourage them to contact the police department immediately,” he said. “Everyone has the right to a professional, safe and harassment-free workplace, and it is incumbent upon AMR to ensure this exists for their employees and patients and to take appropriate action in response to these claims. If allegations of any inappropriate conduct against city contractors are substantiated, the City reserves the right to take additional action.”
The full statement from an AMR spokesperson can be read below:
“We take allegations of any harassment or assault seriously. We have an extensive internal process that includes specific actions on reporting and investigating such allegations. Our company is committed to making every reasonable effort to prevent the occurrence of sexual abuse by any employee or independent contractor associated with AMR and to deal promptly and effectively with allegations that may arise. All allegations of sexual abuse are treated as a serious matter and investigated thoroughly. In addition, the company cooperates fully with any public authorities that may be investigating such matters and takes care not to interfere with any public investigation. The investigations of complaints are conducted with due regard to a number of key principles including confidentiality, safety, impartiality, objectivity, thoroughness, timeliness and accuracy as well as safeguarding the rights of an accuser and an accused employee or independent contractor. All individuals concerned have the right to be treated with respect and dignity. We strive to create a culture of respect and professionalism in all of our business units. We also continue to develop personnel who are critical in implementing a professional work environment in our operations and elsewhere. Our company completes background checks on every new hire to join our organization and we offer pathways for not only investigating complaints but reporting them. In order to effectively address complaints, we have a Committee on the Prevention of Sexual Abuse to ensure that all company policies are followed with regard to the investigation of these kinds of complaints. Additionally, we have a compliance hotline that’s anonymous, as well as a robust safety management system that allows reporting of concerns. Employees are educated about our Compliance Hotline upon hire in our New Employee Training program as well as with our subsequent mandatory annual training. We apply the appropriate level of discipline and will terminate employees if substantiated through our investigative processes. New leadership has been named overseeing the New Haven operation, and in management above that operation, within the past year. Patrick Pickering was installed as the Vice President of Operations for the area that includes Connecticut operations, and William Schietinger was named Regional Director for the area that includes the New Haven operation. Police have previously investigated this matter as well, and no criminal charges were prosecuted. We do not comment on ongoing or pending litigation of any kind.”