April 01, 2020

Both parties dismiss lawsuit seeking repayment of loan

ROCKLAND – A lawsuit filed by a Warren business owner seeking repayment of a personal loan made to a former employee who is suing her for unwanted sexual advances has been dismissed by both parties.

In April, Philip Georges of Thomaston filed a suit against his former boss, Nira Beram, claiming she subjected him to severe and pervasive sexual harassment while he was employed at Penobscot Bay Tile and Carpet in Warren.

Georges also filed a court motion seeking to attach $200,000 worth of Beram’s property. A judge approved the attachment in May.

In a June response to Georges’ lawsuit, Beram denied assertions of sexual harassment. That lawsuit is pending, a court clerk said Tuesday.

Georges was employed by Beram as a carpet and tile installer from December 1996 through June 25, 1999.

He had filed a complaint with the Maine Human Rights Commission on Oct. 7, 1999, according to court records. That complaint was not heard by the commission within 180 days and, therefore, Georges could ask to drop the complaint and bring his own lawsuit. The commission approved that request. Nearly a year before the sexual harassment accusations surfaced in court, Beram had filed a civil claim against Georges.

The lawsuit, filed July 27, 1999, by Beram, sought compensation from Georges, including $30,000 she claimed he owed her for a personal loan, plus interest, and other relief. In a court document, Georges admitted to receiving a $30,000 check from Beram as a loan that was to be paid within 90 days.

Georges filed a counterclaim, stating that after he had worked for Beram for about two years they made an agreement that he would become an equal partner in the business. Georges alleged that from that point his overtime hours would go toward his purchase of a 50 percent interest in the business.

The counterclaim, filed by his lawyer, James Strong of Thomaston, said if it were proved that Georges did own half of the business, his unpaid overtime worked, worth more than $50,000, would be owed.

Beram had filed a document seeking dismissal of Georges’ claim of equal partnership, and got a judge to approve an attachment of Georges’ property in the amount of $34,112.

No trial date had been set for the sexual harassment lawsuit.

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