Gym childcare facility sued when young girl is molested by older boy. $13M. Riverside County.


Childcare supervisor does not regulalry check on children in her care while mother exercises in gym.

The Case

  • Case Name: Doe v. Fitness Alliance
  • Court and Case Number: Riverside County Superior Court / PSC2002874
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Wednesday, September 08, 2021
  • Date Action was Filed: Monday, June 15, 2020
  • Type of Case: Sexual Abuse
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Harold Hopp
  • Plaintiffs:
    Jane Doe (minor)
  • Defendants:
    Fitness Alliance LLC
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $13,000,000
  • Non-Economic Damages:

    Past: $5,000,000

    Future: $8,000,000

  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 2 1/2 weeks
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 1/2 day
  • Jury Polls: 12-0
  • Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Settled confidentially post verdict.

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Panish Shea & Boyle, LLP by Spencer Lucas and Nadine Khedry, Los Angeles.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Koeller, Nebeker, Carlson, Haluck, LLP by William Nebeker, Phoenix, AZ.

    Koeller, Nebeker, Carlson, Haluck, LLP by Edward Schmitt, Irvine.

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):

    Lynn Ponton, M.D., child psychiatry, San Francisco.

  • Defendant's Medical Expert(s):

    Suzanne Dupee, M.D., child psychiatry, Manhattan Beach.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    On Jan. 31, 2020, plaintiff Jane Doe, 5, and her brother, 2, accompanied their mother to EoS Fitness Palm Springs, where she signed her two young children into Kid's Club, the gym's daycare center, and proceeded with her workout.

    Shortly thereafter, a 13-year-old boy, John Roe, was also signed into the daycare center by his mother. Surveillance video of the Kid's Club shows the daycare center, which is separated into two rooms for older and younger children, had only one attendant on the job that day – a violation of its own company policy.

    As evidenced in the surveillance video presented in court, the 13-year-old boy and plaintiff were placed in the same room where he proceeded to molest plaintiff for over an hour. In addition to groping plaintiff's genitalia, abuser Roe forced the young girl to perform sexual acts on him. Not once did the Kid's Club supervisor realize what was happening in the room right behind her, or check in on the children. Plaintiff told her mother what had happened to her at Kid's Club immediately following the incident.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    Plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the gym alleging negligent supervision of the minors. The gym had failed to follow a number of their own policies that would have prevented the incident. Plaintiff contended the gym was 100% at fault.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    Prior to trial, defendants stipulated to partial liability, admitting that it was negligent and that its negligence was a substantial factor in causing injury to plaintiff. However, defendants contended that the criminal acts of molestation by Roe were also a substantial factor in causing injury to plaintiff, and that a jury should be permitted to apportion fault between defendant and Roe for damages.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Plaintiff contended that Jane Doe suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of the subject incident.

Additional Notes

Plaintiff did not seek special damages, strictly general damages.