A Los Angeles jury on Monday awarded $60,000 to a woman who said she was molested by a now-imprisoned former doctor and Bermuda premier’s son, from whom she sought medical help for menstrual problems and stress.
The Superior Court panel deliberated for most of the morning before finding that Dr. Kevin Brown was negligent and that the conduct caused harm to plaintiff Myesha Daniels. The money awarded was for past pain and suffering only.
Daniels’ attorney, Brian Dunn, said he accepted the jury’s decision.
“We’re not overwhelmed by the amount, but under the circumstances it was a fair verdict,” Dunn said.
Defense attorney Don Fesler declined to comment.
Earlier today, Judge Stephen Moloney clarified the law for jurors by reminding them they needed to have at least nine votes on each question.
After about 1 1/2 hours of deliberating on Friday, the jury notified the judge that verdicts were reached. But a subsequent polling showed they were actually split 7-5 at that time in favor of finding that Brown caused Daniels harm. The panel broke the potential deadlock today.
In his closing argument Friday, Dunn said the defendant had an obligation to do his patient no harm.
“This doctor was no longer healing, he was hurting somebody,” Dunn said. “You can fix the problem this doctor represents.”
But Fesler, on behalf of Brown and the Crenshaw Expo Medical Center, said the fact that Daniels returned for a second visit to Brown undermined her claim that she was abused.
“She would not have gone back to Dr. Brown if he had done anything wrong,” Fesler said. “He did not do the things he’s alleged to have done in this case.”
In her testimony, Daniels, 32, said she first became wary of Brown because of the way he conducted himself while giving her a pap smear during her first visit in August 2007. She said she went to Brown’s office because it was close to where she worked at the time.
Daniels said she thought it strange when Brown commented on her red peep- toe heels as she was lying on the examination table. Brown asked her if she was sexually active and then touched her in a way different from what other male doctors had done during previous pap smears, Daniels said.
Daniels said she was experiencing stress at work from a fellow employee when she went to Brown’s office in April 2008 to get a note allowing her to take time off from her employment. She said she was interested in the leave time to audition for Flavor Flav’s reality show “Flavor of Love.”
She said that after writing the note and handing it to her, Brown “ripped my shirt up and my bra up,” ostensibly to use his stethoscope to see how her stress may have affected her heart.
“He didn’t ask if he could do it, he just did it,” Dunn told jurors. “You can literally get a glimpse into how his twisted mind works.”
Attorneys on both sides agreed that in between the two visits during which Daniels alleges she was abused, she was treated for an ear problem without having any complaints against Brown.
The 44-year-old son of Ewart Brown, who was premier of Bermuda from 2006- 10, was convicted in August 2011 of 21 charges involving sexual assaults on nearly a dozen patients, including a 15-year-old and an undercover Los Angeles police officer.
He was sentenced in December 2011 to 12 1/2 years in prison. Daniels was not one of the victims named in the criminal case.
— City News Service