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Sparks Regional Medical Center v. Smith
976 S.W.2d 396, Ark.App., AR, 10/07/1998
Crime Sexual Assault 
Location Hospital 
Prevailing Party Plaintiff 
Other Parties Hospital 

Statement of Facts: On July 2, 1994, while she was a patient at Sparks Regional Medical Center ("Sparks"), Donna Smith was sexually assaulted by Jeff Chavez, a Sparks employee. Chavez was subsequently convicted of first-degree sexual abuse. Smith sued Sparks, arguing that it negligently hired Chavez because he had previously been discharged by another hospital for sexually harassing a patient. Smith also asserted that Sparks knew of other incidents of sexual harassment by Chavez while he was at Sparks. The jury found for Smith and awarded her $80,000 in damages. Sparks' motions for a directed verdict and a judgment notwithstanding the verdict were denied. Sparks appealed, arguing that Chavez was not acting within the scope of his employment. Holding: The Court of Appeals of Arkansas affirmed the judgment on the verdict. The evidence supported the finding that Sparks had sufficient information to determine that Chavez posed a danger to female patients (including a disciplinary action report after a prior complaint by another patient), but took no action. Therefore, there was sufficient evidence to support a finding of negligent supervision. 

Damage Award $80,000 
Victim's Counsel     
Plaintiff's Counsel Charles Karr, Fort Smith 
Plaintiff's Expert      
Defense Counsel G. Alan Wooten, Kathryn Stock Campbell, Fort Smith 
Defense Expert      

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