Construction podcasters dropping $15M lawsuit against carpenter who called out sexual harassment comments

The hosts of a construction podcast that aired comments about cat-calling and potential sexual assault say they are dropping a $15 million defamation lawsuit against a female carpenter who called out the offensive remarks online.

Manny Neves and Jim Caruk, who host The Construction Life podcast, issued a statement Tuesday afternoon, hours after CBC News reported on the lawsuit against Natasha Fritz, the owner of Natural Carpentry.

Fritz was hit with the lawsuit — which sought a $15,250,000 penalty — on May 28. The statement of claim says Fritz told the men she would not take down her Instagram post exposing the comments made on episode 145 of their show until they issued a public apology.

Neves and Caruk’s emailed statement reads in part: “As hosts of the podcast our reaction was not appropriate and we did not do enough to make clear that sexual harassment of any kind is not acceptable.”

Regarding the lawsuit, the statement says: “We are discontinuing the claim that we had initiated immediately.”

The two men did not, however, respond to a number of questions sent by CBC News, nor did they comment prior to the publication of the first story. 

The statement continues to criticize Fritz’s Instagram post, calling it “a highly edited and manipulated video” that was shared to “inflame and damage rather than forward a necessary conversation about sexual harassment.”

Emails obtained by CBC News show the men told Fritz they were not interested in doing a podcast episode devoted to that topic. 

CBC News is reaching out to Fritz, who previously said she couldn’t discuss the situation due to the lawsuit against her.

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