The federal sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a former Crawford Area Transportation Authority (CATA) employee against the bus company is headed to trial next year.

In November 2019, Leigh Ann Kanish of Espyville filed the suit against CATA, Crawford County’s public bus service, in U.S. District Court in Erie. Kanish's suit claims she was sexually harassed multiple times between October 2016 and the spring of 2017 by a male CATA employee who eventually became her supervisor.

Kanish left her supervisory position on May 9, 2017, due to the hostile work environment, according to the lawsuit, which also stated she was hired by CATA in February 2012 as a driver.

The suit alleges multiple coworkers witnessed the sexual harassment, but CATA administration did nothing to stop it.

Kanish's suit has demanded a jury trial and is seeking more than $175,000 in damages plus having the court order CATA to take corrective steps to end sexual harassment.

On Aug. 23, a video mediation session with the two sides was held before U.S. District Judge Stephanie Haines in an effort to resolve the issue. However, court records show a resolution could not be reached and the case was referred back to U.S. District Judge Susan Paradise Baxter, who was presiding over the case, for any further proceedings.

At a brief telephone status conference Tuesday with attorneys for Kanish and CATA, Baxter set a trial date of May 2, 2022. 

Keith Gushard can be reached at (814) 724-6370 or by email at kgushard@meadvilletribune.com.

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