Jury Awards Patient $950,000 Verdict Against Her Psychologist For Rape

Yesterday, a Westchester County jury's verdict of $950,000 in favor of a patient against her clinical psychologist was upheld by Supreme Court Justice Terry J. Ruderman. The patient claimed that she was at her psychologist's office during a therapy session when he suddenly and forcibly raped her. The psychologist countered that the patient had sexually assaulted him (though on a different date) and denied that he had raped her. The jury believed the patient, rejected the defense and awarded her $250,000 for past pain and suffering; $200,000 for future pain and suffering; and, $500,000 in punitive damages, none of which can be paid from a malpractice policy.

After the trial, the psychologist argued that the verdict should be set aside as grossly excessive and that there was insufficient proof of his guilt because: 1) the patient didn't seek medical attention for the rape; 2) the alleged rape was not promptly reported to the police, the victim's family or her treating psychiatrist; and, 3) the patient continued therapy sessions with him for months after the alleged rape. The Court rejected all these arguments noting that a delay in reporting rape is "a common characteristic of male and female rape victims". The Judge emphasized that the jury had wisely rejected the psychologist's implausible sexual assault claim that the patient forcibly restrained both his arms while she simultaneously: 1) opened his zipper and pants buttons; 2) removed his underwear and pants; and, 3) grabbed him inappropriately. Jane Doe v William Knack, 2017 WL 3045908

Ronald C. Burke, Esq

Trial Attorney with 30+ Years of Experience Attorney Ronald C. Burke, Esq. has more than 30 years of experience and has focused his career on representing clients in cases involving personal injury, medical malpractice and legal malpractice. He is a seasoned trial lawyer and has won many seven-figure settlements and verdicts for his clients over the years, including many case victories listed among the largest in the history of the New York State. He has been featured in the news and is a regular lecturer for the New York County Lawyers Association, as well as having lectured before the New York State Bar Association. Ron is also an attorney with Kelner & Kelner, a New York personal injury law firm. Awards and Accolades Mr. Burke's awards and accolades are many. Among them, he has been included in New York Super Lawyers® each year since 2010, and he has received the highest-possible AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®. Verdict Search, a part of the New York Law Journal, frequently recognizes his notable successes after winning some of the highest settlements and verdicts in past years. He was also featured in their list of the "Top New York Verdicts " and "Top New York Settlements." He is a member of the New York State Bar Association and is licensed to practice law in the U.S. District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, as well as before the United States Supreme Court. When Attorney Burke is not handling legal malpractice cases, he is highly involved in the local community. He was a member of the Village of Rockville Centre Volunteer Fire Department, has served on the local school board and as Chairman of the local Zoning Board. Learn more about Attorney Burke and how he can skillfully handle your malpractice case by contacting the Law Offices of Ronald C. Burke, Esq. right away to schedule your complimentary case evaluation. Our firm is here to help! Contact a New York Legal Malpractice Attorney Our firm provides each client's case with thorough preparation and aggressive representation, ensuring that you win the best possible results for your case whether it is settled or goes to trial. As a seasoned trial lawyer, Mr. Burke can provide the strong and relentless representation you need to establish negligence in a legal malpractice case and to recover any damages you may have suffered. Our firm can recover compensation for pre-trial and trial malpractice, violations of fee arrangements, loss of income, pain and suffering, and much more. Contact us today!


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