Antonio Ponvert, an attorney from Koskoff, Koskoff, & Bieder recently received a $2 million verdict on behalf of his client in a case against a prominent cardiothoracic surgeon.
The woman and the doctor had been involved in a romantic relationship that ended after 6 years together. About a year after the relationship ended, the woman called a plumber to fix a leak in her home. While he was working, he found sophisticated surveillance equipment hidden in the crawl space under the woman's house. The woman immediately called the police.
Upon questioning, the doctor admitted to installing the video and audio surveillance equipment in the woman's bedroom and bathroom. The cameras could be accessed by anyone with a receiver in proximity to the woman's house. The police removed what they believed was all of the equipment and the doctor was arrested and charged with eavesdropping and voyeurism.
After issuing an apology to the woman and asserting that there were no more surveillance devices in place, the doctor was granted accelerated rehabilitation-which kept the incident form going on his criminal record-and released on probation. As a condition of the probation he was to have absolutely no further contact with the woman.
Despite the assertions made at the doctor's criminal proceedings, the woman continued to feel as though she was being watched, so she hired a company that specializes in detecting covert surveillance devices. Their inspection of the home revealed a live video feed coming from a camera hidden in a television set in her bedroom.
The woman is traumatized and continues to suffer from severe anxiety, mental anguish, and extreme emotional distress, so she filed a civil suit against the doctor. He was accused of eavesdropping, voyeurism, disseminating voyeuristic material and intimidation based on bigotry or bias, as well as intentional affliction of emotional distress and negligence.
The resulting punitive damages will allow the attorneys to apply for attorneys' fees and costs, estimated to result in a total $2.7 million, plus interest.