Therapist Billed Insurer for Sex, Patient Says

(CN) – A woman claims her psychologist had sex with her in his office while treating her for depression, “on a weekly, and at times, a daily frequency,” and had the brass to bill her insurance company for the “treatments.” And she says he “committed further acts of professional malpractice by voluntarily ingesting plaintiff’s psychotropic medications during their sexual encounters to ‘enhance’ his sexual gratification with plaintiff.”

     HF, an adult, sued Plaza Therapy Associates and Daniel R. Lerom in Hillsborough County Court, Tampa, Fla.
     She claims Lerom, “a licensed professional,” treated her for depression and associated maladies from 1995 until May 2009, and “committed negligent, professional and sexual misconduct” against her “numerous times.”
     “Plaza Therapy Associates and Lerom further committed professional negligence by billing plaintiffs’ insurance numerous times for ‘treatments’ immediately after Lerom’s sexual encounters with plaintiff and was paid for said treatment by plaintiff’s insurance,” HF says.
     She says that in May 2009, “an officer of Plaza Therapy Associates who knew of Lerom’s misconduct demanded Lerom cease conducting such professional and misconduct acts against plaintiff. Shortly thereafter, Lerom ceased all communication and contract with plaintiff, who continued to suffered from ‘depression,'” and a host of other problems, including feelings of hopelessness, feelings of rejection by men, emotional dependencies, and pain, the complaint states.
     “Upon being rejected by Lerom, both personally and professionally, plaintiff suffered a complete mental collapse, and, as a result, was institutionalized,” according to the complaint.
     She demands punitive damages for professional negligence-malpractice, breach of contract, vicarious liability, and infliction of emotional distress. She is represented by Deborah Carroll of Lakeland.

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