A state judge is expected to rule on a motion to dismiss a lawsuit against Miracle Supply Co., a plumbing wholesaler, in which one of its executives is accused of installing a hidden camera in the washroom to videotape female employees.
The parties in the lawsuit include four female plaintiffs. The defendants named in the suit are Martin Holtzman, president; Michael Dattilo, vice president; and Miracle Supply Co.
The suit, filed in St. Louis County Circuit Court in October, charges the defendants with invasion of privacy. The motion to dismiss was filed by Ira L. Blank, an attorney with Rosenblum & Goldenhersh, a St. Louis-based law firm that represents Miracle Supply.
The current lawsuit duplicates another lawsuit against Miracle Supply regarding the hidden camera in the washroom, filed by former employee Betty Hofstetter, that was dismissed with prejudice in 1998, Blank said. Hofstetter was offered a settlement in that suit, accepted the terms but never took the money and later reneged on her acceptance of the settlement, he said. Hofstetter said she never accepted the terms of the settlement and the dismissal was due to miscommunications between her attorney in the first lawsuit and the judge.
She hired a different attorney for the second lawsuit, Greg Roosevelt of Roosevelt Law Office. He declined to comment on the case but confirmed that the parties were awaiting the judge's decision on the motion to dismiss.
Hofstetter, a bookkeeper for the company for more than 12 years, said she was fired the day the papers for the second lawsuit were served on the company.
As of mid-January, the judge had requested supplementary briefings and had taken the case under submission, Blank said.