RENO — A federal jury found the city of Reno guilty of negligence Tuesday and awarded $100,000 in damages to a woman who accused a police officer of coercing her to strip naked in his patrol car when she was a teenager.
State tort laws cap negligence damages in Nevada at $50,000 and city attorneys said they are considering appealing the unanimous verdict in U.S. District Court.
But for Elizabeth Eoff, now 22, it was the first good news she had heard in a courtroom since she first testified against ex-police Sgt. Paul Pitsnogle at his state criminal trial on a charge of lewdness in 2006.
A Washoe District Court jury cleared Pitsnogle of any wrongdoing, but he subsequently was fired .
The panel awarded her more than $100,000 for past and future medical costs resulting from the trauma she suffered because of the city’s failure to properly supervise the officer, who had a reputation for failing to apprise dispatchers of his whereabouts.
Eoff said she has undergone constant counseling since the incident .
The Associated Press does not normally identify people who say they are the victim of sexual abuse but her lawyers said that she doesn’t object to being named publicly.