Posted On: March 19, 2012 by Moseley Collins

Medical Center Charged With Negligent Hiring and Supervision in $67 Million Sexual Harassment Case

The following blog entry is written to illustrate an example of a sexual harassment case. Reviewing this kind of lawsuit should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this sexual harassment case and its proceedings.)

CASE INFORMATION
FACTS/CONTENTIONS
According to Plaintiff: On April 7, 2006, plaintiff was a patient at defendant ABC Regional Medical Center. She was sexually assaulted (vaginal penetration) by a male certified nursing assistant (“CNA”). She reported the incident to the LAPD the following day. The subsequent LAPD investigation determined that there were about 10 other victims who stepped forward following a televised plea by the LAPD and plaintiff. Five prior victims testified at trial that they were also sexually assaulted and that they had reported the assaults to hospital personnel. The CNA was arrested and arraigned before jumping bail set at $250,000 in 2006. He is still at large.

Plaintiff alleged that defendants ABC Medical Center and XYZ Healthcare Corporation were negligent in retaining the CNA after past complaints, that defendants ratified the sexual battery committed by the CNA, that defendants ratified the sexual harassment (Civil Code section 51.9) of the CNA, and that defendants acted in conscious disregard of the safety of its patients.

The hospital acknowledged receiving only one report, which it thoroughly investigated. Defendants contended that the one prior report was properly investigated by defendants and the State Department of Health and no wrongdoing was established. Defendants further contended that the CNA's conduct was not ratified. After plaintiff's report to the LAPD, the CNA never worked another hour in the hospital. Defendants additionally contended that plaintiff's symptoms could not be attributed solely to this incident, in which the digital penetration lasted only a matter of seconds. Plaintiff had pre-existing psychological problems and exaggerated her problems.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.


CLAIMED INJURIES
According to Plaintiff: Sexual assault; severe emotional distress including post-traumatic stress disorder.

CLAIMED DAMAGES
According to Plaintiff: $27,000 psychological treatment; $45,000 past wage loss from lost year as a Marriage and Family Therapist intern.

SETTLEMENT DISCUSSIONS
According to Plaintiff: Demand: $1,500,000 (CCP § 998) in 2009; Offer: $1,400,000 one month before trial in 2011.
SUMMARY:
Verdict/Judgment: Plaintiff
Verdict/Judgment Amount: $67,360,000

$2,360,000 compensatory damages against both defendants; $65,000,000 punitive damages against the hospital.
Trial Type: Jury

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.