United States District Court, D. Colorado
ORDER ON DAMAGES
CHRISTINE M. ARGUELLO UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on Plaintiff Tabitha Spencer's
Motion for Default Judgment against Defendant Juan Ramon
Aranda. (Doc. # 34.) For the following reasons, the Court
grants the motion and awards Plaintiff $10, 558.94 in
events giving rise to this lawsuit occurred on March 9, 2015
when Plaintiff visited Salud Family Health Centers clinic for
medical treatment. (Doc. # 4 at 2.) In an examination room,
Plaintiff alleges that Defendant, a medical assistant at the
clinic, made a number of sexual comments and advances toward
her, including pushing himself onto her, kissing her,
grabbing “the right side of her buttocks, ” and
rubbing her bare back. (Id. at 4.) Plaintiff adds
that when she returned home from the clinic, she received
several text messages from Defendant, who she claims
retrieved her phone number from her medical files.
(Id. at 3-4.)
on these events, Plaintiff contacted law enforcement who
contacted Defendant on March 12, 2016. (Id.)
Defendant admitted to making the sexual advances and sending
the text messages but stated that he thought Plaintiff wanted
him to do so. (Id.) Defendant was arrested and
charged with unlawful sexual conduct and harassment.
(Id.) He pled guilty to both charges. (Id.)
March 9, 2016, Plaintiff initiated this suit against
Defendant, bringing claims for assault, battery, intentional
infliction of emotional distress, negligence, and negligence
per se. (Doc. # 1.) On March 3, 2017, based on
Defendant's failure to defend or otherwise appear in this
lawsuit, Plaintiff filed the instant motion seeking a default
judgment against him. (Doc. # 34.)
August 24, 2017, the Court held an evidentiary hearing on
this motion, following which the Court found that, because
Defendant failed to defend or otherwise appear in this
lawsuit, default judgment was proper under Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 55. The Court also found that there was a
legitimate basis for relief, as presented in the Complaint
and at the hearing, on Plaintiff's claims for assault,
battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and
only remaining issue before the Court was the amount of
damages awardable on those claims, which the Court took under
advisement. The Court also permitted Plaintiff to file
supplemental briefing on damages-briefing that would
incorporate evidence from the hearing, supporting
documentation from Plaintiff's medical providers, and
applicable legal authority.
October 5, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Brief For Damages wherein
she requests that this Court award her a total $210, 558.94.
(Doc. # 51.) That total represents $558.94 for Medicare
reimbursements; $150, 000.00 for past pain and suffering,
mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life; and $60,
000.00 for future pain and suffering, mental anguish, and
loss of enjoyment of life. The Court addresses each request
judgment cannot be fully entered against a defaulting
defendant until the amount of damages has been ascertained.
See Herzfeld v. Parker, 100 F.R.D. 770, 773 (D.
Colo. 1984). When a default judgment is entered on a claim
for an indefinite or uncertain amount of damages, facts
relating to the amount of damages must be proven in a
supplemental hearing or proceeding.” United States
v. Craighead, 176 Fed.Appx. 922, 925 (10th Cir. 2006)
(unpublished) (quoting Am. Red Cross v. Cmty. Blood Ctr.
of the Ozarks, 257 F.3d 859, 864 (8th Cir. 2001));
Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(b). One of the main reasons for this
requirement is to prevent plaintiffs who obtain default
judgments from receiving more in damages than is supported by
actual proof. Id. at n.2.
seeking damages must set forth proof of damages to provide
the Court a record sufficient to decide the matters before
it. This includes the submission of affidavits, testimony by
witness, and other proper documentary evidence in support of
the claimed damage amounts. Venable v. Haislip, 721
F.2d 297, 300 (10th Cir. 1983); Ullico Cas. Co. v. Abba
Shipping Lines, Inc., 891 F.Supp.2d 4, 7 (D.D.C. 2012).
The Court is vested with broad discretion in awarding
damages. Dolenz v. United States, 443 F.3d 1320,
1321 (10th Cir. 2006).