Plaintiff in this case was a 45-year-old woman who sought treatment with a psychologist in Southern California for depression and adjustment problems. She alleged that the defendant stopped therapy with her for the sole purpose of engaging in a personal and sexual relationship and did engage in such a relationship for several months and then dumped her when he was tired of her.
Defendant never admitted to the sexual relationship and stated that the personal relationship only began months after therapy terminated when the plaintiff pursued the defendant. Further, the defendant claimed that the plaintiff was not in any way damaged by the relationship because she moved out of state, found a boyfriend and started a job which paid considerably more income than she was earning.
The law offices of Winer, McKenna & Burritt, LLP, came into this case only a month before it was set for trial. The prior attorney had done very little to work up the case and, in fact, had failed to name any expert witnesses as required by law. The case had already gone to mediation and the defense refused to offer more than a nuisance settlement.
The law offices of Winer, McKenna & Burritt, LLP, filed a motion with the court which allowed them to use an expert who specialized in therapist/patient sex abuse and after John Winer completed the deposition of the defendant which had been started by the prior lawyer, the case turned and immediately settled, despite defendant’s insurance company’s reliance on limitation of damages to a $25,000 sex cap.
RESULT: Settlement on behalf of plaintiff for $300,000