Conversation About Hitler Sparks Lawsuit

November 29, 2005 ( - A former worker is suing the Dana-Faber Cancer Institute alleging retaliation after she complained of an insulting conversation with a co-worker.

The Associated Press reports that Aliana Brodmann von Richthofen testified that a co-worker, who knew much of her family had been killed in the Holocaust, said she admired Adolf Hitler and that ‘He was an admirable leader.’ Von Richthofen alleges that when she complained to supervisors about the conversation, she was demoted and eventually forced to resign.

Von Richthofen is suing the institute, two former supervisors and a human resources executive, according to the AP. She is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, as well as back pay and forward pay against the cancer institute.

An attorney for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute said that the institute moved the two women out of the small office they shared and gave them separate workspaces so they would not have to interact with one another. ”They were conscientious, effective, and responsive to Miss von Richthofen’s complaint,” James Horgan said.

A trial in the case opened this week in Norfolk (Massachusetts) Superior Court.