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Settlement reached between Wynn Resorts, women in sexual harassment suit

Attorneys for Wynn Resorts Ltd. and nine anonymous women who filed a 2019 sexual harassment lawsuit against the company have reached a settlement in the case, U.S. District Court documents say.

In a settlement notice filed Tuesday, attorneys said that an undisclosed settlement was reached and attorneys requested the action be dismissed and that a status check settlement conference be scheduled within two months.

The amount of the settlement was not revealed, and sources familiar with the case said they expect the amount would be sealed by the court.

A spokesman for Wynn Resorts said the company would have no comment, and attorneys for the nine women could not be reached for comment.

At the time the lawsuit was filed, the women continued to work at the Wynn Salon or Encore Salon as manicurists or makeup artists, and each have made specific allegations regarding sexual harassment by former Wynn CEO Steve Wynn. Steve Wynn has repeatedly said he has never harassed or sexually assaulted anyone.

But in court filings, the women gave graphic descriptions of how Steve Wynn asked personal questions of a sexual nature, forced them to massage him near his genital area and required them to provide services to him in secluded areas, including his office.

The women chose to be referred to as “Judy Does Nos. 1-9” in the lawsuit and argued that the use of their real names could lead to retaliatory defamation suits by Steve Wynn, being ostracized at work or having their lives upended if sensitive details of the case were made public.

U.S. District Judge James Mahan initially heard the case filed in March 2019, a year after Steve Wynn left Wynn Resorts following sexual harassment allegations made public in a January 2018 Wall Street Journal article.

Steve Wynn resigned as chairman and CEO of the company in February 2018 and divested himself from the company in the months after his departure. In July, Wynn agreed to a $10 million fine in a settlement with the Nevada Gaming Commission.

In July 2020, Mahan said the women’s pleadings were too vague, and the case was forwarded to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The appellate ruling, argued in October 2021, said the District Court action was in part affirmed but in part reversed and as a result was remanded to District Court, where it was reassigned to U.S. District Court Judge Gloria Navarro.

The appellate court, in its ruling, said the Judy Does “repeatedly expressed a willingness to provide more information, so long as their privacy could be assured.” The court added that “while the Judy Does had no automatic right to file an amended complaint, the District Court still should have granted leave to amend when dismissing claims that could be cured with additional facts.”

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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