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$________ Civil Assault – Sexual assault by tattoo artist – Negligent hiring and retention – Emotional injuries – Continuing psychological treatment.

Broward County, FL

The plaintiff was a 21-year-old female who was getting a tattoo at the defendant tattoo parlor when she claimed she was sexually assaulted by the tattoo artist. The defendants in the case included the tattoo artist who was in default at the time of trial, as well as the corporate owner of the tattoo parlor on a theory of negligent hiring and retention. The corporate defendant did not appear at trial and was not represented.

The plaintiff testified that she was bent over a stool, receiving a tattoo on her lower back when the sexual assault occurred. The plaintiff claimed that the defendant tattoo artist pushed his exposed penis between her buttocks and achieved an orgasm. The defendant tattoo artist pled guilty to criminal charges in connection with the sexual assault.

The plaintiff alleged that, six months before this incident, the defendant tattoo artist was accused of a similar sexual assault upon another female patron and was moved by the defendant corporation to another of its tattoo parlors. The plaintiff’s psychologist testified that the plaintiff suffered emotional injuries as a result of the attack, including post-traumatic stress, and that she will require continuing psychological treatment.

Counsel for the defendant corporation withdrew before trial. The defense had previously argued that the co-defendant tattoo artist was an independent contractor and not an employee. The defendant also denied knowledge that the tattoo artist was previously accused of sexual assault.The jury awarded the plaintiff $________ in compensatory damages. The plaintiff was additionally awarded attorney fees of approximately $________ based on a proposal for settlement.

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