In an interesting torts case, the judge ruled that prominent businessman Fred Blackmon of Montgomery Alabama must pay his daughter $8 million dollars for sexual abuses in her childhood.
The case presented difficult evidentiary questions and will likely present equally difficult appellate issues. Blackmon, a vice president with Merrill Lynch & Co., was sued by Louise Plott, who made some pretty strange allegations, including that Blackmon repeatedly took her to orgies at a hotel as a young girl, once mailed her a dismembered thumb and a fetus, and forced her to participate in the stabbing death of a young man.
Her attorney insisted that such bizarre accounts are merely the result of the mental anguish and problems caused by years of abuse, including alleged rapes the night she became prom queen and before her wedding.
Four therapists testified that Plott had symptoms that are common among victims of childhood sexual abuse, and two experts (who testified for Blackmon) couldn’t say whether Plott had been abused.
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