Goldman Sachs has settled a lawsuit filed by a former intern in California who alleged that the bank fostered a fraternity-like culture of hazing — with pressure to drink excessively and at least one incident of physical violence.
Terms of the settlement with Patrick Blumenthal, a Drexel University student at the time of his 2017 internship with Goldman, were not disclosed in a Friday evening filing in San Francisco Superior Court.
The deal came a week ahead of a scheduled hearing on the bank’s request to dismiss the lawsuit.
During his time at investment bank, Blumenthal was assigned to a group that referred to itself as “Team 007” and was helmed by Julius Erukhimov, a private financial wealth advisor who went by the nickname “Fast Julie.”
Photos of the team were displayed on a plaque on a wall in the office with employees’ and interns’ nicknames underneath, according to Blumenthal’s lawsuit. His nickname was allegedly “Bloomy” and was pronounced mockingly as “Blew Me,” he claimed in court papers.
Among the more severe allegations made in the complaint is that on Feb. 9, 2018, Blumenthal and his colleagues went for a drink and ended up being physically assaulted by Erukhimov.
Amid heavy drinking, Erukhimov allegedly became angry about a joke Blumenthal made and punched him in the stomach, then started wrestling with him.
Erukhimov dragged Blumenthal outside the bar and kept him in a chokehold until he passed out and urinated on himself, the lawsuit alleges.
Blumenthal was kept in the chokehold “so long” in the chokehold that he “thought he was going to die,” he said in the complaint.
Noe of Blumenthal’s colleagues, including a vice president and managing directors, tried to stop the alleged attack, he claimed.
And rather than call an ambulance, Erukhimov drove Blumenthal home to his apartment, gave him pain medicine and told him not to tell anyone about the incident, warning that his uncle and cousin were “contract killers” for Russian oligarchs, according to the suit.
Two days after the attack, Blumenthal had still not fully recovered, according to the complaint, so he went to the hospital, where he claimed he was diagnosed with bleeding to the brain.
“He is still receiving treatment for his injuries,” his lawyer, Dan Schaar, told Bloomberg on Friday.
In his complaint, Blumenthal added that he still deals with PTSD, mental anguish, a brain injury, and potentially permanent physical pain due to the incident.
Blumenthal claimed he reported the incident to a human resources executive at Goldman in March of 2018, but said the bank “swept this brutal attack under the rug and never spoke of it again.”
Blumenthal’s suit sought more than $25,000 in damages.
Lawyers for Goldman Sachs argued in court filings that the company wasn’t liable for the injuries, saying that it happened at an after-hours work event.
The bank also said it responded appropriately to Blumenthal’s complaints and that he did not return an offer to be interviewed about the attack.
“Goldman Sachs has no comment on this matter,” said Maeve DuVally, a spokeswoman for the bank.
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