Plaintiff claims therapist had sex with her. $1.75M. San Diego County.

Summary

Plaintiff pays for hotel room and says therapist had sex with her; he denies it.

The Case

  • Case Name: Doe v. Psycare Associates, Inc.
  • Court and Case Number: San Diego Superior Court / 37-2020-00016071-CU-PO-CTL
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Wednesday, July 13, 2022
  • Date Action was Filed: Tuesday, May 26, 2020
  • Type of Action: Highlighted Verdicts, Medical Malpractice
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Timothy Taylor
  • Plaintiffs:
    Doe female patient
  • Defendants:
    Psycare Associates, Inc.
    Rodrigo Richen
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $1,750,058.51
  • Contributory/Comparative Negligence: 60% Psycare Associates Inc. and 40% Rodrigo Richen
  • Economic Damages:

    $800,058.51

  • Non-Economic Damages:

    $950,000

  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 5 days
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 8 hours

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    HHJ Trial Attorneys by Elliott Jung, Carlsbad. 

    HHJ Trial Attorneys by Michael Hernandez, La Jolla.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Lotz, Doggett, Rawers by Jeff Doggett and Lauren Hardisty, San Diego.

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):

    Glenn Lipson, Ph.D., psychology.

    Clark Clipson, Ph.D., psychology.

  • Defendant's Medical Expert(s):

    Dominick Addario, M.D., psychiatry.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    Plaintiff, a 24-year-old female, sought out mental health treatment from defendant Psycare Associates Inc. due to a prior traumatic event. Defendant Psycare assigned plaintiff to a male therapist, defendant Rodrigo Richen because plaintiff requested a male therapist. The male therapist treated the patient for several months and then was about to end the treatment because plaintiff was moving out of state. Plaintiff began to feel attracted to the male therapist during treatment and the male therapist asked her if she fantasized about him. The male therapist then asked plaintiff if they could meet after the therapy session ended. Plaintiff reserved a couple hours at a hotel room and purchased it on her credit card. The male therapist went to the hotel room with the plaintiff and plaintiff stated that they had sex in the hotel room. Male therapist argued that he changed his mind last minute and nothing ever happened in the hotel room.

    Defendant Richen's license was revoked by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences for Unprofessional Conduct effective 7/22/2021.

     

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    Plaintiff argued that defendant Psycare fell below the industry’s standard of care by failing to supervise the male therapist. Several months before the male therapist was assigned to the plaintiff, another female patient reported the male therapist to the company, stating that he made inappropriate and sexual comments during an intake evaluation. The prior patient stated that she did not want to get the male therapist in trouble.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    Defendant Psycare alleged that once they found out about the prior complaint, they conducted weekly supervision of the male therapist for six months and that this upheld the industry’s standard of care and their own company’s guidelines. Defendant Psycare further alleged that the prior female complainant did not want to file a report against the male therapist and that his comments were just due to inexperience and naivete. Defendant alleged that plaintiff was the one seeking to have a sexual relationship with the therapist.

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff §998 Demand: $749,000
  • Defendant §998 Offer: $0

Disclaimer

This is not an official court document. While the publisher believes the information to be accurate, the publisher does not guarantee it and the reader is advised not to rely upon it without consulting the official court documents or the attorneys of record in this matter who are listed above.

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