Jury Awards $65 Million to Woman Sexually Assaulted By Nurse at Encino-Tarzana Medical Center
A jury has awarded a whopping $65 million to a woman who was sexually assaulted by a male nurse at a hospital that was then known as Encino-Tarzana Medical Center, according to City News Service.Courtney Rosenberg, who has come forward to tell her story and publicly revealed her identity, was sexually assaulted by a nursing assistant Ramon Rodas Gaspar while she was recovering from surgery in 2007. Gaspar has been profiled on America's Most Wanted in 2008 and 2009, but he still remains a fugitive.
On Tuesday, the jury found the hospital and its owner at the time Tenet Healthcare Corp. liable for negligence and sexual harassment. (The hospital is now called Providence Tarzana Medical Center.) It awarded Rosenberg $2.36 million in compensatory damages, but she said was blown away by the numbers today. "I never could have imagined this,'' she said. "I think I'm still in shock.''
The jury awarded Rosenberg a number even higher than her attorney asked for. Jury foreman Stephen Wystrach told City News Service said the jury believed that the hospital should have taken action against Gaspar when other female patients complained about him. The more the jury discussed the award, he said, the higher the number rose. The hospital's attorney said it plans to appeal the award.
For her part, Rosenberg said she plans to get behind legislation for greater protection of patients from hospital employees. She's far from the only one to have suffered at the hands of a hospital employee.