Judge Says Ellen Pao Owes Ex-Boss $276K

Ruling after landmark Silicon Valley case is tentative
By Brownie Marie,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 18, 2015 11:21 AM CDT
Judge Says Ellen Pao Owes Ex-Boss $276K
Ellen Pao speaks to members of the media at Civic Center Courthouse in San Francisco, Friday, March 27, 2015.    (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Silicon Valley star Ellen Pao suffered another blow yesterday after a judge tentatively found that she must pay $276,000 to her former employer. Pao famously sued venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers over alleged gender discrimination and lost big in March. A jury found that Pao’s gender was not the reason she was passed over for a promotion, and ruled in favor of KPCB on all counts. The firm tried to recover the $972,814 they spent over the course of the trial, but Pao and her attorneys argued that the figure was "grossly excessive and unreasonable," reports USA Today. San Francisco Superior Court Judge Harold Kahn shaved that number down to about $276,000, based on Pao’s resources.

"This tentative ruling recognizes that our settlement offer was reasonable and made in good faith," says a statement from KPCB partner Christina Lee. "It also recognizes the cost rules still apply when a plaintiff refuses a reasonable settlement offer and forces the parties to go through an expensive trial." Pao, heralded as a hero for women in tech, is now the interim CEO of Reddit. She is appealing the ruling against her but will drop it if KPCB pays her $2.7 million court costs, according to TechCrunch. Both sides will be in court today. (More Silicon Valley stories.)

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