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Appeals court overturns order for EEOC to pay Iowa trucking company $4.7M for frivolous claims


IOWA CITY, Iowa — An appeals court has overturned a decision ordering the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to pay $4.7 million in legal costs to an Iowa trucking company.

The 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals says Judge Linda Reade erred in awarding the fees to Cedar Rapids-based CRST Van Expedited.

Reade's order was believed to be the largest fee sanction in EEOC history, faulting the agency for numerous "unreasonable or groundless" claims of sexual harassment against CRST.

But the three-judge appeals panel said CRST cannot recover fees for 67 claims dismissed without any ruling on the merits. The panel says Crabb also didn't make particular findings on which specific claims were frivolous.

The ruling sends the case back to Reade to make those findings and determine again whether CRST should receive fees.

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