Woman claims sexual assault by hotel massage therapist. Defense verdict. Alameda County.


Client says the male massage therapist touched her inappropriately.

The Case

  • Case Name: Jane Doe v. The Claremont Hotel & Spa, A Fairmont Hotel, et al.
  • Court and Case Number: Alameda County Superior / RG18923197
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Tuesday, November 08, 2022
  • Date Action was Filed: Thursday, September 27, 2018
  • Type of Case: Civil Rights, Sexual Battery
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Richard Seabolt
  • Plaintiffs:
    Jane Doe
  • Defendants:
    Accor Hotels & Resorts (Maryland) LLC
    Claremont Hotel Properties, LLC
    FHR Claremont Hotel Management Company, LLC
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: Defense verdict
  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 17 days
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 4 hours
  • Jury Polls: 11-1
  • Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Defendants will be seeking recovery of costs and expert fees.

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    California Civil Rights Law Group by Larry Organ, San Anselmo.

    Fiore Achermann, A Law Corporation by Jennifer Fiore, San Francisco.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Freeman Mathis & Gary, LLP by Sharon C. Collier, Walnut Creek.

    Bonjour, Thorman, Burns & Dahm by Emily Dahm, Pleasanton.

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):

    Anthony Reading, Ph.D., psychology.

  • Defendant's Medical Expert(s):

    Joanna Berg, Ph.D., psychology.

  • Plaintiff's Technical Expert(s):

    Felicia Brown, massage therapy.

  • Defendant's Technical Expert(s):

    Heidi Roth, massage therapy.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    Plaintiff claimed she was sexually assaulted at the Claremont Club & Spa during a massage on December 30, 2017. She sued the massage therapist, his employer, the hotel and spa owner, and the hotel and spa operator.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    That the massage therapist intentionally and/or negligently touched plaintiff's breasts during the massage and that she had to remove his hands from her breasts.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    Defendants denied that the massage therapist engaged in any misconduct.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Severe past and future emotional distress.

Special Damages

  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: $0
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: $0
  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Lost Earnings: $0
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Lost Earnings: $0

Additional Notes

This was a Zoom jury trial. Plaintiff claimed severe emotional distress. The jury returned a complete defense verdict. Defendants beat their CCP 998 offer.