SANGERVILLE, Maine — A five-count lawsuit filed on Aug. 4 by a Sangerville resident against a former Sangerville town manager has been moved from Piscataquis County Superior Court to the U.S. District Court in Bangor.
Mi Suk Martin, also known as Sae Hee Martin, is seeking damages from former town manager Dick Drummond of Guilford for civil assault and battery, negligent or reckless infliction of emotional distress, intentional infliction of emotional distress and for violations of her civil rights. She is represented by attorney Arthur Greif of Bangor.
Drummond, who filed a response to the lawsuit on Aug. 25, denies the allegations.
An artist of South Korean descent, Martin alleged that while Drummond was town manager in 2007, he made derogatory remarks to her, calling her “One Hung Low” and suggested she belonged in a rice paddy. She also alleged Drummond hit her in the face with papers, poked her in the breast, and grabbed her by the arm hard enough to leave bruises. She said some of the incidents were witnessed by others.
Martin is seeking compensatory and punitive damages as well as attorneys’ fees and expenses, interest and other costs provided by law. She has requested a jury trial.
All she ever wanted was an apology from Drummond for his alleged mistreatment of her, Martin said Tuesday, but she never received one. Instead, she said Drummond maintained he had done nothing wrong. Unwilling to let the matter go, Martin said she filed the lawsuit to show Drummond was wrong. She said she wanted to prevent it from happening to anyone else who may have contact with Drummond.
Through attorney Melissa Hewey of Portland, Drummond denies the allegations and cites seven defenses in response to the lawsuit. He claims Martin failed to comply with the requirements of the Maine Tort Claims Act and that her claims are barred by the immunity provisions of that act. He also alleges Martin’s claims are barred by the statute of limitations, that her negligence claim is barred or reduced by Martin’s own negligence, that her claims are barred by absolute and-or qualified immunity, that no clearly established rights of Martin were violated and that Martin failed to mitigate her damages, if any.
Drummond has requested the lawsuit be dismissed and that he be awarded costs and other relief that may be just and equitable.
Drummond resigned his position as town manager in February 2008 as selectmen were considering a resolution seeking his removal in part over Martin’s complaints.
Telephone calls to Drummond’s home Tuesday for comment were not returned.