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Plummer v. Center Psychiatrists, Ltd.

476 S.E.2d 172 (1996)

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Plummer v. Center Psychiatrists, Ltd.

Virginia Supreme Court

476 S.E.2d 172 (1996)

Facts

Katrina Q. Plummer (plaintiff) suffered from depression. Plummer was receiving therapy from Dr. Roque Gerald, a licensed clinical therapist, who worked for Center Psychiatrists, Ltd. (Center) (defendant). During the course of Plummer’s therapy with Gerald, Plummer disclosed her prior attempts at suicide and her psychological and emotional history. During a counseling session at Center, Gerald had sexual intercourse with Plummer, using his education and his knowledge about her psychological and emotional history to coerce her. Plummer sued Center as Gerald’s employer for assault and battery. Plummer filed a motion for judgment against Center, but the trial court dismissed Plummer’s claim for assault and battery against Center, holding that Gerald was acting outside the scope of his employment as a matter of law when he engaged in sexual intercourse with his employee. Plummer appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Hassell, J.)

Dissent (Koontz, J.)

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