Mom Told By Bosses To STOP Grieving Her Dead Daughter Loses Lawsuit Against Cold-Hearted Company

Tue, September 6, 2011 10:16am EST by 8 Comments

The mother was stunned when her bosses BANNED her from talking about her late daughter Tatiana or keeping photos on her desk — because it made her co-workers uncomfortable!

Cecelia Ingraham claims she was even told to “act as if Tatiana didn’t exist!” She sued Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical for emotional distress, but lost her lawsuit!

Cecelia was devastated when Tatiana lost her long battle with leukemia in 2005, aged just 17. When she returned to work she kept photographs and her daughter’s ballet shoes on her desk to comfort her — until she was hauled into a meeting with her bosses.

She was told colleagues had complained about her tendency to talk about the tragedy — and instructed to strip her desk of “disrupting” photos and mementos.

Cecelia quit the job and sued Ortho-McNeil for emotional distress and constructive discharge, but failed to convince a court that her boss Carl DeStefanis had intended to cause her distress and had acted outrageously.

Defending his ruling, Judge Victor Ashrafi said, “If courts had to preside over every instance of rude and thoughtless boss behavior, they’d never have time to consider any other kinds of cases.”

“There is no question that any reasonable employer should know that telling a grieving mother not to talk about her deceased daughter might cause emotional distress but a severe reaction was not a risk that one should predict.”

Do you agree with the judgment, HollyMoms? Was Cecelia treated harshly? Or was SHE the unreasonable one?

– Ian Garland


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Posted at 12:01 AM on September 7, 2011  

If you don’t like this country then GET OUT!! I am sick of foreigners coming here trying to tell US how to act in OUR country!!!

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Posted at 12:32 PM on September 7, 2011  


I am NOT a FOREIGNER. People like YOU are the reason why America sucks!

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Posted at 8:48 PM on September 6, 2011  

i hate america. only here would it be okay to shun women for being fat after they have kids, pay them less for being mothers, tell them to stop b_tchin about their dead children, and not allow them to have a tenth of the time they need for maternity leave. shame on these people that play the game and do whatever the employer wants. when will this idiots realize they make the rules, not the employer? i am sick of it.

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Posted at 4:41 PM on September 6, 2011  

Some individuals who are grieving can be downright vicious to you if you do not share the same intensity of sorrow or express it the same as them. I don’t know if this was perhaps the case in this situation. If it was, then HER behavior WOULD cause a very hostile work environment and the employer would HAVE TO ask her to respect her coworkers feelings. I am a very empathic person, but if I would have Death constantly shoved into my face and be screamed at & accused of not being HUMAN because I do not feel the same extreme grief, would be distressing to me.

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Posted at 1:45 PM on September 6, 2011  

It was clearly unfair to ask her to remove the photos and ballet shoes, however I think her bosses were justified in asking her to stop public discussing the events in the work place.

I do not believe she should have been financially compensated, yes her bosses were a bit out of line but you don’t deserve a paycheck just because someone hurt your feelings.

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Posted at 1:18 PM on September 6, 2011  

telling her to remove pics etc was wrong (my daughter just passed away in feb at the age of 2 i have her pics in my car etc) BUT that isn’t a reason to sue. something is always going to trigger a sad reaction about her daughters death but you have to learn to act correctly or walk off gather yourself and go back into the sitution.

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Posted at 12:04 PM on September 6, 2011  

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Posted at 10:43 AM on September 6, 2011  

The company want trying to be harsh–& you don’t deserve to get paid every time some one hurts your feelings.

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