Hospital denies negligence when female patient claims assault by a physical therapy assistant.
Past medical: $6250
Future medical: $62,500
Past emotional distress: $800,000
Future emotional distress: $700,000
Taylor & Ring by David M. Ring and Louanne Masry, Los Angeles.
McCurdy & Leibl by Kathryn Mosely and Lee Moulin, Sherman Oaks.
Elena Konstadt, Ph.D., psychology, Los Angeles.
Thomas Ciesla, M.D., psychiatry, Santa Monica.
Dave Powers, physical therapy, Pacific Palisades.
Maria Zibell, physical therapy, Los Angeles.
David Lewin, Ph.D., human resources, Los Angeles.
In 2011, plaintiff was a 68-year-old female who underwent physical therapy at defendant hospital. After a physical therapy session plaintiff reported a sexual assault to the police.The police conducted an investigation but no arrest was made.
That female plaintiff \was sexually assaulted by a male physical therapy assistant during a physical therapy session at defendant White Memorial Medical Center. That defendant hospital was liable for the conduct of the physical therapy assistant.
Plaintiff claimed that the physical therapy assistant (PTA) took her to a private room and during the course of doing soft tissue mobilization on her back and legs, he intentionally touched her genitals. The male PTA had a prior complaint about touching another female patient improperly over the clothes several months earlier at the same location.
Plaintiff's statement to the police was consistent with this version of events.
The defendant hospital claimed that no sexual assault occurred and if anything happened at all, according to the plaintiff’s report to the police, the PTA's elbow grazed plaintiff's groin area during the massage.
Hospital claimed that plaintiff's story changed over five times from no touching of the genital area to alleged digital penetration and an intentional sexual assault. The hospital also claimed the prior incident involving the PTA had nothing to do with a sexual touching, as patient was clothed and event was observed and that the hospital properly supervised the PTA at all times.
Serious emotional distress suffered by the plaintiff, including PTSD.