Woman’s $4.5 million in damages stem from suit against stepfather
November 11, 2008
A woman was awarded a total of $4.5 million in damages for emotional and physical harm inflicted by her stepfather in what her attorneys say involves the largest award for a sex abuse trial in the state.
Marion County Circuit Judge Lynn Ashcroft added$3 million in punitive damages Monday to the $1.5 million in damages a jury already had levied.
The 24-year-old woman, who asked not to be identified, brought the case against her stepfather, Edward Webb, on accusations that included sexual molestation and inappropriate touching.
Webb’s attorney, Robert Gunn, declined to comment Monday.
The woman was awarded$1.5 million in noneconomic damages on Oct. 31 after a three-day jury trial, said an attorney of the firm O’Donnell Clark and Crew.
The firm also believes the case was the largest award for any personal injury case in Marion County.
"It definitely shows that if the victims of sex abuse are brave enough to come forward, the court system will treat them fairly and with respect in their search for justice,"
The alleged acts began when the woman was 11 or 12 years old and continued until she was about 14 years old. Court documents also said Webb, 43, forced the girl into such acts such as wearing pantyhose, tying her up and touching her.
The suit was brought under Oregon law that allows adults to sue their childhood abusers. The woman did not report the abuse under Oregon’s criminal child-abuse law because the statute of limitations had run out.