EMT chief grabbed her by the ‘p***y’ — NJ lawsuit accusation ends in $195K deal
MANSFIELD — A former emergency medical technician who said that her ambulance squad chief repeatedly grabbed her genitals and harassed her with lewd comments has agreed to drop her lawsuit for $195,000.
The Mansfield Township Ambulance Corps quietly settled the harassment lawsuit lsat year. The existence of the lawsuit and the settlement was revealed this week by an open-government advocate.
In her 2017 lawsuit, Michelle Drangula said Chief Ryan Lewis first grabbed her “vaginal area” in March 2015 during an EMT social event at Nooks Pourhouse in Florence.
In October 2017, he attempted to grab her genitals again after forcing her to drive him home from another social event, she said.
“I remember what your p---y felt like and I want play with it again,” her lawsuit claims he said while attempting to grab her while she screamed in the car.
In agreeing to settle the lawsuit, the Mansfiled Township Ambulance Corps noted that it was not admitting wrongdoing and that the company “completely and unequivocally denies having violated any of Drangula’s legal rights.”
Both sides agreed not to discuss the case in public.
Lewis, who remains chief, signed the agreement in February. He declined to comment on the case when reached for comment Tuesday.
Drangula's lawsuit said Lewis continued to sexually harass her after the first incident in 2015 but she did not report it because he was the chief and she feared retaliation.
Instead, she “suffered in silence in the hope the acts would stop,” her lawsuit said.
On the night that he insisted she drive him home from O’Connor’s American Bar and Grille in Eastampton, she said she “felt powerless to refuse the supervisor a ride home.”
When they arrived at his driveway, her lawsuit claims that he repeatedly said: “I want you to pull out of the driveway so I can f--- you.”
She attempted to deflect by telling him that he was her boss, the lawsuit said.
“So you’re not cool with this?” the lawsuit claims he asked after she screamed “GET OUT!”
Lewis got out after she screamed again, according to the lawsuit, which added that Drangula believed he stopped only because he was afraid his wife and children would hear her shouts.
“After three months of torture at the hands of [Lewis] and in fear that if she did not comply with his sexual advances she would suffer averse employment actions,” Drangula said she was forced to resign in January 2017.
On the day she resigned, she told her direct supervisor for the first time about the harassment, the lawsuit said.
A copy of the settlement was made public this week by John Paff's website, which often posts documents he obtains under the state's Open Public Records Act.
Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.