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Rochester women win $130K payouts from Saudi prince in discrimination suit


Three Rochester women have won payouts of $130,000 each after suing the Saudi prince who sexually discriminated against them.

ABC 6 reports that Gretchen Cooper, Barbara Herold and Lisa Boutelle were successful in their lawsuit against Prince Abdul-Rahman bin Abdul-Aziz after they were hired to chauffeur the prince and his entourage on his visit to the Mayo Clinic in October 2010.

The suit alleged the prince contacted the service who hired the women and told them he didn't want female drivers, because they would not be allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia.

WCCO points out that Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world that doesn't allow women to drive. The three women were awarded damages for mental anguish and loss of wages.

"They did all of the things they were asked to do, including be available 24/7, and purchasing a certain uniform, and learning the vehicles," attorney Lisa Stratton told the TV station. "But when they showed up the next day, they were all summarily fired."

The Star Tribune reports the trio were among 40 drivers hired to escort the prince and his entourage.

Also named in the suit was Mohamed Ali Elbashir – who operates Crown Prince Limousine – as well as Premier Crescent Services of Rochester and Highland International Transportation Services of New York.

Premier and Highland settled with the women in March, the newspaper notes.

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