The Law Offices of SJ Spero and Associates - Boston Professional Misconduct Lawyer

The Law Offices of
SJ Spero & Associates

Newton Office
PO Box 240
Newton, MA 02468
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Concord Office
30 Monument Square
Suite 145
Concord, MA 01742
Phone: 617-491-1200
Fax: 978-631-0795
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Boston Office
175 Federal Street
Suite 1425
Boston, MA 02110
Phone: 617-491-1200
Fax: 978-631-0795
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Verdicts and Settlements

Because of the sensitive nature of sexual abuse, many settlements include confidentiality of the amounts paid to victims and the names of the parties.

Case Name: Miscellaneous Case of Clergy Sexual Abuse

Court: Kansas City, Missouri

Settlement: $10 Million

Outcome: After commencement of numerous cases against the Catholic Church, a settlement process was initiated which resulted in individual awards to plaintiff totaling Ten Million Dollars. Each case involved sexual abuse of minors by catholic priests. Attorney Spero represents Missouri clergy abuse victims in Ten Million Dollar Settlement: "The measure of the trauma [during a trial] would just be immense," said Stan Spero. "I think we pushed the church as far as we could this time."
September 1, 2008, Missouri Lawyers Weekly, Vol. 22 #35

"'Three attorneys who represent the victims of abusive priests say money was not the goal of their lawsuit. 'Their only real concern has been throughout this process, has not been monetary concerns, but to protect children in the future,' Attorney Stanley Spero said."8/20/08 NBC Action News.

Case Name: Rand v. Prudential and USA

Court: U.S. District Massachusetts

Outcome: Confidential Settlement in excess of $10 Million in addition to other remedial actions

Description: Successfully recovered through a federal class action lawsuit against major insurance company and the government for collecting excess insurance premiums which resulted in millions of dollars of insurance benefits being paid to thousands of military veterans. Servicemen were being double charged for insurance coverage as they transitioned from active duty into reserve status.

Case Name: Riley v. Presnell

Court: Essex Superior Court

Outcome: Confidential Settlement.

Description: Young adult male patient was sexually abused and turned into a Valium addict by psychiatrist. The patient was abruptly abandoned by the treater when the psychiatrist relocated to a distant jurisdiction. The patient suffered withdrawal problems and extreme emotional distress. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decided that so-called "tolling," or suspending the state's statute of limitations, could be applied to a case of psychiatric malpractice. In Riley v. Presnell, 565 N.E.2d 780 (Mass. 1991), the court held that if a psychotherapist's sexual exploitation impairs a reasonable patient's ability to realize he or she has been injured, the statute of limitations would not begin to run until the patient discovered the injury. The Supreme Judicial Court extended its "discovery rule" to psychotherapist malpractice, concluding that the statute of limitations does not begin to run until the plaintiff in his position knew or reasonably should have known that he may have suffered injury because of his therapist's conduct.

Case name: Jane Doe vs. Jeffrey Leighton

Court: Hampden Superior Court, Case No. 91-233

Outcome: $ 550,000 verdict.On July 6, 1994 the Court applied the Massachusetts state consumer protection law (Mass. G.L.c. 93A) and doubled the award to $ 1,100,000. In addition, the Court enjoined defendant from practicing hypnotherapy until he presented the Court with a proper supervision proposal.

Description: Unlicensed hypnotherapist sued for violating professional boundaries with vulnerable patient.

Case Name: Jane Doe v. John Doe

Court: Middlesex Superior Court

Outcome: Confidential Settlement

Description: Married patient underwent bioenergetic psychotherapy with therapist and his supervisee. The therapy involved extensive physical contact between providers and patient. The patient suffered from extensive financial loss and emotional distress. A consortium claim was also asserted on behalf of her husband.

Case Name: Jane Doe vs. R.

Court: Middlesex Superior Court

Outcome: Confidential Settlement

Description: Various female patients had become involved in treatment with a psychiatrist who considered himself a "guru." This health care provider improperly directed his patients' lives and persuaded them to make career and lifestyle choice which he alone considered suitable. The therapist frequently spoke in detail about his personal problems during therapy sessions, improperly socialized with patients, utilized them as employees, and otherwise violated customary and recognized therapeutic boundaries in patient dealings.

Case name: Jane Doe v. Brallier

Court: Berkshire Superior Court

Outcome: Confidential Settlement

Description: Litigation was commenced against an elderly minister who was a pastoral counselor. The patient suffered from multiple personality dissociative disorder. The counselor committed numerous boundary violations. The patient was also a member of the minister's congregation and worked for the abuser. Consortium claims were also filed on behalf of patient's husband and family members. The counselor engaged in a sexual relationship with one of the patient's alters, a minor child.

Case Name: XYZ vs. John Doe

Court: Middlesex Superior Court

Outcome: Confidential Settlement

Description: Suit was commenced on behalf of a couple who adopted children with a history of horrific sexual abuse. Following the adoption, the children continued their abuse, which spread to others in the family. Suit was brought against the adoption agency and others which had not disclosed the children's troubled history to the adoptive parents. The children were represented by guardians ad litem.

Case Name: K. v. XXX University et al

Court: Middlesex Superior Court

Outcome: Settlement in excess of One Million Dollars

Description: Female worker suffered serious injuries from carbon monoxide poisoning while working as waitress/baker in small restaurant within larger commercial mall. Suit was commenced against owner of the property and managing agent for negligent maintenance. Plaintiff was highly educated Ivy League college graduate who suffered from depression, physical limitations, and impaired earning capacity as a result of the exposure.

Case Name: Jane Doe v. Bustamante


Outcome: Confidential Settlement


The girl, who was receiving therapy for post-traumatic stress syndrome, told the state Board of Registration of Psychology, which oversees licensing, that the 49-year-old Bustamante had made sexual advances during therapy when she spoke of feeling attracted to him. In April, the board found that Bustamante told the girl he wanted to have sex with her. The board said he appeared to have a personal relationship with her that went beyond any conceivable needs of therapy. The board ordered his license revoked for at least three years. "The man is a rogue," [her] lawyer, Stanley Spero, said Monday. "He has no sense of limits or boundaries."

August 29, 2000 The Associated Press

Case name: Jane Doe v. Dr. P.

Court: New Jersey Superior Court

Outcome: Confidential Settlement

Description: Suit was commenced against a plastic surgeon who negligently conducted breast implant surgery severely disfiguring patient and causing significant pain and suffering.

Case name: Jane Doe v. John Doe

Court: Middlesex Superior Court

Outcome: Confidential Settlement

Description: Female patient entered into combined therapy involving counseling with biofeedback training. The therapist violated professional boundaries and commenced a personal and sexual relationship with the patient which caused her great emotional distress.

Case Name: Jane Doe v. MD et al (2 cases)

Court: Worcester Superior Court

Outcome: Combined settlement in excess of One Million Dollars

Description : Psychiatrist was sued for negligently treating female patient suffering from multiple personalities. Numerous professional boundary violations ensued including sexual acts and assault. In another case involving the same treater, the psychiatrist violated professional boundaries by dining with patient, gift giving, and allowing patient to work on medical files of other patients. Plaintiffs also sued for negligent supervision of offending psychiatrist. The physician also took nude photographs of one patient and made 12 loans to the other.

Case name: John Doe and Mary Doe v. G.F.

Court: Middlesex Superior Court

Outcome: $ 1,290,000.00 Verdict

Description: Licensed social worker negligently provided psychotherapy to adult male while also treating patient's wife. therapist had taken sexual liberties with the husband while treating him singly, in a group setting and as a couple with the wife. Evidence was adduced that the therapist had forced the husband into the homosexual relationship under the guise of therapy when the husband sought the treater''s help in coping with a succession of misfortunes and stressful events in 1971. Therapist violated professional boundaries and engaged in sexual misconduct under the guise of therapy. Husband and wife sued for damages.

Litigated and recovered from a psychiatrist who, through deceit and trickery, manipulated a troubled female patient into a sexual relationship.

Litigated and recovered from the Massachusetts state trial court for sex discrimination in order to gain back pay and employment rights for a female court officer.

Litigated and recovered from a therapist specializing in bioenergetic treatment for sexualizing treatment with the patient, thereby causing depression and suicidal ideation.

Litigated and recovered from therapist who was counseling gay patient regarding childhood abuse issues while, at the same time sexually abusing the patient.

Litigated and recovered for client, her husband and children against psychiatrist who negligently supervised a clinician's therapy with patients beyond his skill and competency to treat.

Litigated and recovered from a male therapist who treated married couple in individual and marriage counseling. The therapist seduced the male patient into a homosexual relationship, causing sexual identity issues, depression, suicidal ideation, significant marital problems and an inability to achieve academic and professional goals.

Litigated and recovered from a psychiatrist who violated professional boundaries by buying valuable gifts at low price from a disabled patient and then selling unneeded property to the same patient.

Litigated and recovered from a licensed social worker who extorted sex from patient under guise of therapy.

Litigated and recovered in a case involving a sexual and social relationship between male therapist and female patient whom therapist had treated with her husband in couple's marital counseling as well as treating the child.

Litigated and recovered in two N. H. cases, involving psychological malpractice and sexual misconduct by therapists, with various claims against the State, higher educational institutions.

Litigated and recovered in multi-party psychological malpractice case in St. Louis, Missouri, against prominent educator and psychologist, institution and Board of Directors, involving multiple boundary violations with patient whom psychologist also employed and supervised.

Litigated and recovered in psychological malpractice case against licensed doctor/lawyer/psychologist who diagnosed patient as having Borderline Personality Disorder and then expedited termination of therapy to employ patient as live-in help.

Litigated and recovered in multiple psychiatric malpractice cases against prominent local psychiatrist who had been charged by more than fifteen patients with engaging in sexual misconduct during psychoanalysis and psychotherapy over a period of several decades.

Litigated and recovered in a multi-party psychotherapeutic malpractice case against a drug and alcohol abuse counselor, involving sexual misconduct with client and questionable diagnoses of Multiple Personality Disorder, Sex and Love Addiction, memories of childhood incest and ritualized cult abuse, with various claims against the managed care organization, corporate employer and referring EAP nurse.

Litigated and recovered against a hospital mental health worker and his hospital for an improper personal/sexual relationship with a recently released former patient.

Litigated and recovered in several cases against parents for sexually abusing their children and for negligently permitting the incest to occur. Attorney Spero also recovered from the family psychologist for failing to report the abuse he discovered through the therapy with the child.

The Law Offices of SJ Spero & Associates represented victims of professional misconduct and clergy abuse across the country, including Massachusetts, Missouri, Texas and New York. Based in Boston, our local service areas include Newton, Concord, Acton, Lowell, Cambridge, Quincy, Worcester, Springfield, Pittsfield, Middlesex County, Essex County, Suffolk County, Norfolk County and Worcester County.