(John Disney/Daily Report)
A Miami-Dade jury has awarded $1.3 million to a woman who was secretly videotaped by a Peeping Tom security guard in her Old Cutler Bay neighborhood.
The lawsuit was against G4S Secure Solutions USA, formerly Wackenhut, which hired Eric Michael Owens in 2008. That was 4½ years after he was convicted of prowling in San Diego, plaintiffs attorneys said at trial.
Owens secretly videotaped a 17-year-old girl living with her parents. She discovered she was being videotaped 2:45 a.m. in August 2010.
Owens was charged with criminal voyeurism after his iPhone was discovered by police with three video images of the plaintiff in her bedroom. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and received probation.
The plaintiff, identified in court papers only as J.G., was represented by attorney Jeffrey Sloman, a partner at the Ferraro Law Firm in Miami. He claimed in the trial before Circuit Judge Jose Rodriguez that the victim suffered post-traumatic stress from the intrusion into her privacy.
The 10-day trial also focused on whether Wackenhut willfully ignored Owens’ criminal history.
The jury found Thursday that Wackenhut was negligent in hiring and retaining Owens and awarded $1.33 million in compensatory damages. The jury decided punitive damages were not warranted.
“This has been a long road, and we are thrilled that the jury held G4S accountable,” Sloman said.
G4S maintained the woman was partially at fault for failing to close her bedroom blind, which faced a canal and mangroves.
G4S attorney Jeffrey T. Foreman of Kenny Nachwalter in Miami did not return a call for comment by deadline.