May 2015

In May 2015, Peter Bolvig obtained Summary Judgment in the Circuit Court of Jefferson County, Birmingham Division, in a case involving an alleged sexual assault in a medical services context. The Plaintiff had a medically related appointment with our client. She was late for her appointment, and our client’s physician left for the day. However, a therapist, who had access to the same office space utilized by our client, remained. When the Plaintiff showed up, the therapist persuaded her to consent to massage therapy, during which he allegedly sexually assaulted the Plaintiff. The Plaintiff contended that our client was vicariously responsible for the acts of the therapist. The Court concluded, as a matter of law, that there was no legal relationship between the therapist and our client and alternatively that the criminal conduct of the therapist severed the chain of proximate causation and that there was no evidence suggesting that our client knew or should have known that the therapist would commit such an act. The case currently remains pending in the trial court against the owner of the facility, whose Motion for Summary Judgment was denied, and against the therapist. The therapist has plead guilty to criminal charges.