DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa Senate Republicans who lost a sexual harassment and gender bias lawsuit are seeking a new trial.

The Des Moines Register reports that the two assistant attorneys general who defended the Republicans filed a motion Wednesday, saying the $2.2 million verdict may have been awarded because of an improper argument by Kirsten Anderson’s lead attorney. Mike Carroll had urged jurors to “send a message” to Statehouse leaders, but the attorneys’ motion says Iowa law doesn’t let jurors award punitive damages.

Anderson was fired in 2012 as the caucus communications director hours after handing in a memo detailing rampant sexual harassment in the caucus office. Jurors ruled July 18 that she’d suffered emotional distress and damages in the workplace.

Carroll said Thursday that he didn’t agree with the arguments.


Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com