California Verdicts

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Plaintiff claimed emotional distress from revenge porn

Amount:

$5,150,000

Type:

Verdict-Plaintiff

State:

California

Venue:

Monterey County

Court:

Superior Court of Monterey County, Monterey

Injury Type(s):

mental/psychological-emotional distress

Case Type:

Privacy; Intentional Torts – Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

Case Name:

Maria Melgoza v. Andre Pompey,
No. 16CV003617

Date:

July 25, 2018

Parties

Plaintiff(s):

Maria Melgoza (Female, 35 Years)

Plaintiff Attorney(s):

Katrina M. Saleen;
Broderick Saleen;
Palo Alto,
CA,
for
Maria Melgoza ■ Timothy B. Broderick;
Broderick Saleen;
Palo Alto,
CA,
for
Maria Melgoza

Defendant(s):

Andre Pompey

Defense Attorney(s):

Andre Pompey;
pro se;
for
Andre Pompey

Facts:

In June 2016, plaintiff Maria Melgoza, 35, learned that her ex-boyfriend, Andre Pompey, posted images on Facebook that were taken from secret recordings of them having sex. Pompey also tagged Melgoza’s profile, ensuring that Melgoza, her friends and her family would see the photos. Melgoza sued Pompey for intentional infliction of emotional distress and breach of privacy for intrusion into private affairs, use of a concealed recording device, and distribution of sexually explicit materials. She claimed that Pompey posted the images after she told him that she did not want to move in with him and that she could not spend her birthday with him. Pompey attempted to explain his actions by claiming that when he was 12 years old, he found his mother underwater in a bathtub after she had attempted to commit suicide after discovering that his father had cheated on her. Pompey testified about the alleged effect the incident had on him throughout his life, including his own struggles with depression.

Injury:

Melgoza testified that when she saw the images, she began shaking, felt numb and threw up. She also claimed she was suicidal on the day the images were posted, but her best friend and family members talked her through it. Melgoza claimed she suffers from emotional distress and that she still has crying spells and nightmares as a result of the incident. She also claimed she is still embarrassed to see people whom she knows have seen the post. Melgoza sought recovery of damages for her emotional pain and suffering. She also sought punitive damages against Pompey.

Result:

The jury found in favor of Melgoza and found that Pompey acted with malice, oppression and/or fraud. It determined that Melgoza’s damages totaled $5.15 million.

Maria Melgoza: $150,000 Personal Injury: Punitive Exemplary Damages; $5,000,000 Personal Injury: pain and suffering

Trial Information:

Judge:

Susan J. Matcham

Trial Length:

3
 days

Jury Vote:

12-0

Jury Composition:

6 male/ 6 female

Editor’s Comment:

This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiff’s counsel. Additional information was gleaned from an article that was published by the Monterey County Herald and reprinted in The Mercury News, both publications of Digital First Media. The pro se defendant was not asked to contribute.