High school track coach raped student in the 1990s. $35M. Los Angeles County.


Plaintiff is one of a group of women who accused certain Pomona High School coaches of misconduct in the 1990s. 

The Case

  • Case Name: Jane Doe 4 v. Pomona Unified School District
  • Court and Case Number: Los Angeles Superior Court / 22PSCV00686
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Monday, January 22, 2024
  • Date Action was Filed: Thursday, July 07, 2022
  • Type of Case: Sexual Abuse
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Richard Fruin
  • Plaintiffs:
    Jane Doe 4
  • Defendants:
    Pomona Unified School District
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $35,000,000
  • Award as to each Defendant:

    $35,000,000 with 70% of the fault apportioned to Pomona Unified School District and 30% of the fault apportioned to the perpetrator of the abuse, Herman Hopson.

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Taylor & Ring by Natalie Weatherford and John Taylor, Manhattan Beach.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    McCune & Harber by Dana McCune and Joseph Cheung, Los Angeles.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    Jane Doe 4, then a 16-year-old student, was raped by her track coach at Pomona High School, Herman Hopson.  The rape occurred in 1997 while they were at a school track and field meet in Nevada and staying in a motel.

    Jane Doe 4 and several other women accused a group of males coaches of misconduct in incidents in the 1990s.  They alleged that the men took them into their confidence, spent time with them and shared personal stories, sometimes openly flirting and engaging in sexually charged talk. Those actions, they say, eventually led to underage alcohol usage encouraged and facilitated by the coaches, as well as sexual abuse and, in the case of Jane Doe No. 4, rape.


  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    Plaintiff Jane Doe 4 contended that the school district, through its employees, had notice that the perpetrator, Herman Hopson, was inappropriate with other minor female students, including that he flirted with female students and spent time with female students off campus.

    Plaintiff contended that PUSD was negligent in its supervision of its student, Jane Doe 4, and negligent in its retention and supervision of its employee, Hopson.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    Defendant PUSD contended that it was not negligent and disputed the nature and extent of plaintiff's injuries.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Past and future emotional distress.