FL Appellate Court Upholds Sexual Assault Civil Claim Dismissal

May 12, 2008 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A Florida state appellate court has upheld a state trial judge ruling that the parents of a 16-year-old girl claiming she was raped by her manager can't proceed with a negligence lawsuit.

The Florida 2 nd District Court of Appeal said the lower court was correct in ruling that the Sunshine State’s workers’ compensation law precludes the teenager’s parents from being able to sue Footstar, a shoe retailer where their daughter worked as a sales clerk. The lawsuit claimed the company was negligent in hiring their daughter’s manager, whom they said sexually assaulted her while she was working.

According to the appellate judges, because the family may have a claim under Florida’s workers’ compensation statute, they can’t also pursue a standard civil claim at the same time.

The Lakeland, Florida -based 2 nd District panel judges, quoting the trial judge, said they were forced to rule the way they did as “reprehensible as the conduct alleged by Plaintiffs appears to have been and as harsh as this result seems to be.”

The decision in John Doe and Jane Doe vs. Footstar Corp  is available here .