A Harris County jury has delivered a $5.3 million verdict against the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) for wrongly disparaging Professional Janitorial Service of Houston when the company refused to recognize the union without a secret ballot by its employees. The judge added $2.5 million in prejudgement interest for a total of $7.8 million owed to the company.
The case was filed 10 years ago by Professional Janitorial based on claims that SEIU issued an onslaught of false statements to try to harm the company for refusing to give in to the union’s demands. In the four-week trial, jurors heard evidence that SEIU officials systematically lied about the janitorial service to its customers and caused the company to lose millions of dollars in business. The evidence showed union members rejoiced and took credit for causing the janitorial business to lose some of its customers.
Attorneys Nathan Campbell, Adam Milasincic and firm co-founder John Zavitsanos of Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing P.C., or AZA, represented Professional Janitorial. Mr. Zavitsanos told the jury that SEIU is “an evil, evil organization that used an intimidating campaign of extortion to try to run the janitorial service out of business.”