As reported by the Tampa Bay Times, WTSP 10 News, and WFLA Channel 8 NBC last week, Florin Roebig founding partners Tommy Roebig and Wil Florin obtained a $47.4 million jury verdict in a Massage Therapy Sexual Battery case in Pasco County, Florida. This verdict is arguably the highest contested jury verdict obtained in Pasco County history.
Our client in her thirties and who was only identified as Jane Doe during the trial, had gone to Essentials Massage and Facial of New Tampa, LLC., in Wesley Chapel on January 25, 2012, for treatment related to a prior neck injury. The licensed massage therapist assigned to her by Essentials Massage and Facial of New Tampa, LLC., was Raul A. Delarosa. After our client had disrobed and was already covered with a blanket for the massage, Delarosa sexually violated her while she was on the table.
During the trial, Defendant, Essentials Massage and Facial of New Tampa, LLC., defended the case by arguing that Delarosa was working as an independent contractor because he was a licensed massage therapist by the State of Florida Department of Health. The jury found Delarosa was the corporation’s employee and that Essentials Massage and Facials of New Tampa, LLC., was itself negligent in retaining Raul A. Delarosa after it should have known that he wrongfully touched another woman at their location just 90 days earlier. The jury also awarded past and future medical expenses of $420,000, as well as past and future pain and suffering damages of $12,000,000. The final portion of the jury verdict was for punitive damages against Delarosa in the amount of $35,000,000. The jury consisted of 4 women and two men.
Florin Roebig is proud of Jane Doe as she brought this case so that this wouldn’t happen to any other women. As a result of the incident, Ms. Doe has been treating for post-traumatic stress disorder. The Defendant, Essential Massage and Facial of New Tampa, LLC., has a significant liability insurance policy to cover much of this jury award and our firm will be pursuing recovery of those damages on behalf of our client.