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Winemaker Settles Sex Harassment Case

Aug 10, 2004 | NapaNet Daily News The sexual harassment case against Rutherford vintner Mike Grgich settled out of court Monday, according to court records, just days before the two sides in the case were scheduled to begin selecting a jury.

Two women, Marisol and Elizabeth Torres, claim Grgich made rude comments and groped them, forcing them to quit their jobs at Grgich Hills Winery. Another woman, former Grgich Hills bookkeeper Lidija Hudnell, is suing along with the two sisters, claiming she was fired in retaliation for bringing their complaints to Grgich and his daughter Violet Grgich, who is vice president of sales and marketing at the winery.

The sisters' most serious allegations are that they were groped by Grgich in 2002, when Marisol was 16 and Elizabeth was 18. The women say Grgich rubbed his hands on their buttocks and breasts, and also repeatedly forced his tongue in Marisol's mouth during the summer of 2001 while she worked as his housekeeper.

The vintner and the company deny any wrongdoing related to the women's claims. Grgich said in court documents he never touched them in a sexual manner.

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