A 34-year old California woman received one of the largest punitive damages awards ever – $65 million – after a jury ruled in her favor in the sexual harassment suit she brought against Encino-Tarzana Regional Hospital, alleging a sexual abuse incident while she was in the hospital. After only about an hour of deliberations, the jury ruled in favor of Courtney Rosenberg and against the hospital, agreeing that she was abused by a male nursing assistant who had been previously reported to the hospital for engaging in similar dicey behavior.
In discussing its deliberations, the jury foreman explained that jurors believed the hospital could have taken action sooner against the assailant following the complaints of other female patients. The assailant — Ramon Rodas Gaspar — was profiled on the Fox television show America’s Most Wanted (AMW) in 2008 and 2009 and remains a fugitive. After posting bail following his arrest, Gaspar fled.
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