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FILED
r
CIVIL BUSINESS 0E1-'4'4;
CENTRAL 0IVIS104
Pajman Jassim, Esq. SBN 228478
JASSIM 8z ASSOCIATES, APC
402 West Broadway, Suite 1120
San Diego, CA 92101
Tel: (619) 630-2680
Fax: (619) 630-2681
pjassim@jassimlaw.com

2016 FEB I I PM 1:32
-

ERAVUPERIDR CODRT
AN
S- DIEGO COUNTY, CA,
(2)

Attorneys for Plaintiff:
Michelle S.
IN THE COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO - CENTRAL
MICHELLE S., an individual,

) Case No.:
)

Plaintiff,
)
)
V.
)
WALTER M. SOLOMON, an individual; )
THE REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF )
CALIFORNIA, a public entity; THE PREUSS )
SCHOOL UCSD, a public entity; and DOES )
1-100, inclusive.
)

37-2016-00004683ZU-POCTL

COMPLAINT FOR:
1: NEGLIGENCE;
2. NEGLIGENT HIRING,
SUPERVISION AND RETENTION;
3. SEXUAL BATTERY;
4. SEXUAL ASSAULT;
5. CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE;
6. INTENTIONAL INFLICTION OF
EMOTIONAL DISTRESS;
7. BREACH OF FIDUCIARY DUTY;
8. FAILURE TO PREVENT
HARASSMENT

)

Defendants.

)

)

Demand for Jury Trial

COMES NOW, Plaintiff MICHELLE S., referred to as "Plaintiff' and hereby complains
against WALTER M. SOLOMON, an individual, THE REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF
CALIFORNIA, a public entity, and THE PREUSS SCHOOL UCSD, a public entity, hereinafter
collectively referred to as "Defendants", and alleges as follows:

GENERAL ALLEGATIONS
1.

Plaintiff is using only her last initial in this Complaint under rights to privacy

granted by the Constitution of the State of California due to the sensitive nature of this case. If,
for any reason, Defendants cannot accurately determine the identity of the Plaintiff, their
attorneys can contact Plaintiffs attorney at the address on the face sheet of this Complaint, and
the name of the Plaintiff may be provided.
COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES

2.

Plaintiff MICHELLE S. (hereinafter "Plaintiff' or "MICHELLE"), is a natural

2

person who was a resident of the state of California. At all times material in this complaint,

3

Plaintiff was a minor and residing in the County of San Diego, CA.

4

3.

Defendant WALTER M. SOLOMON ("SOLOMON") is an individual, who at all

5

Limes relevant to this action was residing in the County of San Diego, CA and within the

6

jurisdiction of the above-captioned court. SOLOMON physically perpetrated acts of sexual

7

abuse upon Plaintiff when Plaintiff was a minor.

8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15

4.

Defendant THE REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA

("REGENTS") owns and operates the University of California, San Diego, which in turn owns
and operates Defendant THE PREUSS SCHOOL UCSD.
5.

Defendant THE PREUSS SCHOOL UCSD ("PREUSS") operates in the County

of San Diego, CA, and within the jurisdiction of the above-captioned court.
6.

Plaintiff is informed and believes, and thereon alleges, that at all times herein

mentioned Defendant SOLOMON was an employee of PREUSS.
7.

Plaintiff is ignorant of the true names and capacities of Defendants sued herein as

16

DOES 1 through 100, inclusive, and therefore sue these Defendants by such fictitious names.

17,

DOES 1 through 100 at all times relevant herein were employees, agents of Defendants and each

18 '

of them. Plaintiffs will designate each DOE Defendant and serve them with this Complaint when

19 ,

their true names and capacities have been ascertained. Plaintiff alleges that each of said

20

Defendants designated as a DOE is legally responsible in some manner for the events and

21

happenings herein referred to and caused or is responsible in some manner for the damages

22 1

proximately caused hereby.

23

8.

Plaintiff is informed and believes that at all times mentioned herein all Defendants

24

acted in concert with the other Defendants named in this Complaint in the wrongful and

25

improper activities alleged and, therefore, are responsible for the damages as alleged by Plaintiff.

26

Plaintiff is further informed and believes that at all times mentioned herein each individual,

27

employee and person named in this Complaint was the agent and/or employee of each of the

28

COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES
2

1

remaining Defendants and/or Defendant Employers, and acted in concert for the purpose of

2

injuring Plaintiff as alleged herein.
9.

3

Plaintiff is further informed and believes that at all times mentioned herein each

4

Defendant and individual named in this Complaint were acting within the course and scope of

5

that relationship. Plaintiff is further informed and believes, and thereon alleges, that each

6

Defendant herein gave consent to, ratified, and authorized the acts alleged herein to each of the

7I

remaining Defendants. Plaintiff is informed and believes that at all times mentioned herein, that

8

all Defendants are liable for the actions of each of the individuals mentioned herein.
10.

Plaintiff is informed and believes and thereon alleges that at all times mentioned

10

herein, Defendants have pursued a common course of conduct, acted in concert with, and

11

conspired with, each other, and have aided and abetted one another to accomplish the wrongs

12

complained herein.

13

11.

Plaintiff is informed and believes, and thereon alleges, that Defendants committed

14

other wrongful acts or omissions of which Plaintiff is presently unaware. Such acts are ongoing

15

and will continue after the filing of this action. Plaintiff will seek leave of court to amend this

16

Complaint when Plaintiff discovers the other acts and omissions of such Defendants.
JURISDICTION

17

12.

18

This Court has jurisdiction over this action pursuant to the California

19

Constitution, Article VI, § 10, which grants the Superior Court, "Original jurisdiction in all

20

causes except those given by statute to other courts." Any statutes which this action is brought do

21

not specify any other basis for jurisdiction.
13.

22

This Court has jurisdiction over all Defendants because upon information and

belief, each party is either a citizen of California, has sufficient minimum contacts in California,
24

or otherwise intentionally avails itself of the California market so as to render the exercise of

25

jurisdiction over it by the California courts consistent with traditional notions of fair play and

26

substantial justice.

27

///

28

///
COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES
3

FACTS COMMON TO ALL CAUSES OF ACTION
2

14.

Plaintiff MICHELLE S. (hereinafter referred to as "MICHELLE" or "Plaintiff")

3

was a student at THE PREUSS SCHOOL UCSD (hereinafter referred to as "PREUSS") where

4

Defendant WALTER M. SOLOMON (hereinafter referred to as "SOLOMON") was on staff and

5

employed by PREUSS as a science teacher and a robotics coach.

6

15.

SOLOMON was known to the pupils at PREUSS as "a Pedo" which is short for

7

pedophile, and yet, he was popular with female pupils for his youthful good looks. SOLOMON

8

was known amongst pupils for spending an inordinate and undue amount of time with young

9

female students.

10

16.

Plaintiff first met SOLOMON when she was in 60 grade when she began

11

attending PREUSS. In the beginning, they did not have much interaction, apart from passing

12

each other on school campus. As Plaintiff got older, SOLOMON began interacting with her more

13

and more although Plaintiff was not enrolled in any of SOLOMON's classes. Eventually,
SOLOMON struck up a friendship with Plaintiff.

15

17.

As their friendship established, SOLOMON began spending more and more time

16

with Plaintiff, and more and more time with Plaintiff alone, despite the fact that Plaintiff was not

17

enrolled in any of SOLOMON's classes and there was no legitimate reason, scholastic or

18

otherwise, for SOLOMON and Plaintiff to spend time together alone. During school hours,

19

Plaintiff and SOLOMON spent time together in his classroom when no classes were in session,

20

often with the door closed, with no other students present in the room.

it

18.

SOLOMON did not have any legitimate basis or reason to meet with Plaintiff

22

privately in his classroom. On several occasions, Plaintiff was given hall passes without question

23

and Plaintiff would meet with SOLOMON privately. No staff or faculty members questioned

24

Plaintiff's whereabouts, nor did any staff or faculty supervise Plaintiffs whereabouts during
school hours and after school when Plaintiff was meeting privately with SOLOMON in his
classroom.
19.

28

On several occasions SOLOMON initiated touching, including stroking Plaintiff

hair, holding hands under his desk, and when MICHELLE placed her legs on his legs, he did not
COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES
4

put MICHELLE's legs off, or inform her it was inappropriate thing to do. At one point,
SOLOMON even commented inappropriately on Plaintiff's legs, stating that they were getting
3

stronger.
20.

At all times stated herein, SOLOMON knew or should have known that Plaintiff

5

was under the age of majority and did not have the legal capacity to consent to inappropriate

6

touching or sexual acts. Indeed, Plaintiff's date of birth is information that is readily available

7

and accessible to SOLOMON and defendants.

8
1

21.

There is a special relationship between a school district and its employees and

students so as to impose an affirmative duty on the district and employees to take reasonable

10

steps to protect students from reasonably foreseeable risks of harm. This special duty does not

11

end with the classroom day but extends to post-classroom, school sponsored activities, including

12

those where participation is voluntary.
22.

13

Defendants, and each of them, knew or should have known that defendant

14

SOLOMON was grooming Plaintiff for a sexual relationship. Further, defendants knew or shoul

15

have known that Plaintiff was spending an undue and inordinate amount of time alone with

16

SOLOMON in his classroom, especially in light of the fact that Plaintiff was not a student

17

enrolled in any class taught by SOLOMON.

18

23.

Defendants, and each of them, failed to prevent harm to Plaintiff.

39

24.

In time, SOLOMON groomed Plaintiff, gained her trust, and manipulated

.

20

Plaintiff so that Plaintiff developed a crush towards SOLOMON, which Plaintiff made known to

21

SOLOMON. Knowing that Plaintiff had developed feelings for SOLOMON, SOLOMON

22

continued to meet with Plaintiff privately in his classroom, to exchange text messages, and

23

messages through social media. These acts are in violation of PREUSS school policies.
25.

24

On at least one occasion, Plaintiff verbalized here feelings to SOLOMON, and he

f
- 25

reluctance to continue with their relationship. In response, SOLOMON attempted to change

26

Plaintiff's mind, and knowing that Plaintiff was struggling with her emotions and confusion,

- 27

SOLOMON closed and locked the classroom door to prevent others from coming in or out.

28

///
COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES

5

26.

On one occasion during spring break in 2015, Plaintiff received an instant

2

message from SOLOMON, prompting Plaintiff to ask SOLOMON to meet, which SOLOMON

3

agreed to do. SOLOMON picked up Plaintiff in his vehicle at a Starbucks near Plaintiff's home,

4

so as to prevent Plaintiff's mother from noticing. SOLOMON did not ask Plaintiff to obtain

5

permission from her mother, nor did SOLOMON seek the permission of Plaintiff's mother.

6

SOLOMON then took Plaintiff to La Jolla Shores beach, where they were alone at all times.

7,

During the drive to the beach SOLOMON held hands with Plaintiff, and Plaintiff rubbed

8

SOLOMON's back at the beach in a suggestive and inappropriate marmer.

9
10

27.

his brother. They held hands, and took a picture of them holding hands.
28.

12

While at the beach, SOLOMON told Plaintiff about his first wife, his family, and

At one point at the beach, SOLOMON informed Plaintiff that he could get into

trouble if someone found out they went to the beach alone.
29.

In or around May 2015, during school hours and while Plaintiff was alone in the

14

presence of SOLOMON, SOLOMON discussed his evening dinner plans with Plaintiff Later

15

than evening, SOLOMON informed Plaintiff that he no longer had dinner plans, and that he

16

would take Plaintiff to dinner.

17

30.

SOLOMON made plans with Plaintiff to pick her up near her mother's home, but

18

not at her mother's home so as to not be seen. SOLOMON did not instruct Plaintiff, a minor, to

19

seek her mother's permission, nor did SOLOMON seek Plaintiff's mother's permission.

20
21
22

31.

That night, after SOLOMON drove Plaintiff home, SOLOMON parked the

vehicle near Plaintiffs mother's home, turned off the engine, and leaned back his seat.
32.

While alone in his vehicle with Plaintiff, a minor, SOLOMON reached towards

23

Plaintiff, and put his hand on her back. Then, he began to rub Plaintiffs lower back in a

24

suggestive and inappropriately sexual manner underneath her clothes.

25

33.

SOLOMON began to rub Plaintiff's stomach, gradually moving his hands down,

26

to her lower stomach underneath Plaintiff's clothes. SOLOMON commented on scars that

27

Plaintiff had from previous surgery.

28

COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES
6

34.

Prompted by SOLOMON's hands moving lower and lower, Plaintiff unbuttoned

her pants. SOLOMON kept on moving his hand lower, eventually underneath her underwear,
and began digitally penetrating Plaintiff a minor, for several minutes in violation of California
Penal Code §289(h).
35.

After digitally penetrating Plaintiff for several minutes, SOLOMON pulled his

hand out of Plaintiff's pants when Plaintiff's mother began calling Plaintiff's phone.

FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION
(Negligence Against All Defendants)
36.

Plaintiff MICHELLE S. ("MICHELLE" or "Plaintiff') repeats, re-alleges, and

incorporates herein by this reference each and all of the allegations contained in Paragraphs 1
through 35, inclusive, with the same force and effect as though fully set forth at length herein.
37.

Defendants had a duty to protect the minor Plaintiff when she was entrusted to

Defendants' care by Plaintiff's parents pursuant to Government Code §815.6. Plaintiffs care,
welfare and/or physical custody were temporarily entrusted to Defendants, and Defendants
accepted the entrusted care of Plaintiff. As such, Defendants owed Plaintiff, a minor child, a
special duty of care, in addition to a duty of ordinary care, and owed Plaintiff the highest duty of
care that adults dealing with children owe to protect them from harm.
38.

This duty extended in the classroom, on the campus, and beyond. Defendants, in

particular SOLOMON, knew or should have known that at all times mentioned herein Plaintiff
was a minor. Plaintiffs date of birth was at all times readily available to defendants, including
SOLOMON. At no time did SOLOMON inquire about Plaintiffs age. In fact, when Plaintiff
inquired when should could call SOLOMON by his first name "Walter," he responded that she
could call him by his first name after she was eighteen (18).
39.

Defendant WALTER M. SOLOMON was able, and in his position as a teacher of

the children, to identify vulnerable victims and their families upon which he could perform such
sexual abuse; to induce Plaintiff to allow the abuse; and to coerce Plaintiff not to report it to any
other persons or authorities. As a teacher, Defendant SOLOMON had unique access to the

COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES
7

physical facilities and schools to which he was assigned, and use said facilities to provide
resources which allowed him to commit sexual abuse upon Plaintiff, and possibly other children.
40.

SOLOMON groomed Plaintiff, manipulated her, and exploited Plaintiff's

vulnerabilities and young age. Further, SOLOMON knew that Plaintiff had developed a "crush"
on SOLOMON, and instead of ceasing any further communication or contact with Plaintiff,
especially private and unsupervised contact, SOLOMON encouraged additional
communications, contact, and private meetings both on and off campus, including inappropriate
and sexual touching on and off campus.
41.

To the extent that SOLOMON did not have actual knowledge that Plaintiff was a

minor, SOLOMON had constructive knowledge given that students in Plaintiffs grade are often
under the age of eighteen (18) and SOLOMON did not take any action to resolve any doubt
about Plaintiff's age.
42.

SOLOMON knew that his relationship with Plaintiff was inappropriate and

unlawful, in that he encouraged private visits with Plaintiff outside the presence of any other
school employees or students; kept his classroom doors closed; did not seek the permission of
Plaintiffs guardian to take Plaintiff anywhere off campus; and did not pick Plaintiff up in the
presence of Plaintiffs guardian.
43.

Defendants, by and through their agents, officers, and employees, knew or

reasonably should have known of Defendant SOLOMON's dangerous and exploitive
propensities and/or that Defendant SOLOMON was an unfit agent. It was foreseeable that if
Defendants did not adequately exercise of provide the duty of care owed to children under their
care, including but not limited to Plaintiff, the children entrusted to Defendants' care would be
vulnerable to sexual abuse by Defendant SOLOMON.
44.

Further, Defendants and each of them knew of should have known that Plaintiff

did not have any legitimate purpose to be in the presence of SOLOMON alone in his classroom.
Plaintiff was not a student of SOLOMON's. Further, Plaintiff was often given hall passes
without question, and Plaintiff was absent from her assigned classes while she was alone with
SOLOMON.
COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES

8

45.

Moreover, defendants and each of them knew or should have known that

SOLOMON was spending an inordinate and undue amount of time alone behind closed doors
with Plaintiff, without any legitimate purpose. Defendants and each of them knew or should have
known of SOLOMON's reputation amongst the students as a "pedophile" or someone who prays
on young under aged girls.
46.

As a proximate and legal cause of Defendants' and each of their breaches of their

duties to Plaintiff, Plaintiff has suffered harm in an amount to be proven at trial.
47.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for judgment and damages as set forth below, and

according to proof at trial.
SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION
(Negligent Hiring, Supervision, and Retention Against Defendants PREUSS and REGENTS)
48.

Plaintiff MICHELLE S. ("MICHELLE" or "Plaintiff") repeats, re-alleges, and

incorporates herein by this reference each and all of the allegations contained in Paragraphs 1
through 47, inclusive, with the same force and effect as though fully set forth at length herein.
49.

At all times alleged herein, through information and belief, Defendants

REGENTS and PREUSS, by and through their agents, servants, and employees, knew or
reasonably should have known of Defendant WALTER M. SOLMON's dangerous and
exploitive propensities and/or that Defendant SOLOMON was an unfit agent.
50.

Defendants and each of them knew, or should have known, that Plaintiff on

several occasions over several months was spending an inordinate and undue amount of time
alone with SOLOMON in his classroom behind closed doors. Defendants, and each of them
knew or should have known that Plaintiff was given hall passes to be absent from her assigned
classes so that she could be alone with SOLOMON; Defendants and each of them knew or
should have known of SOLOMON's reputation for being flirtatious, inappropriate, and attracted
to under aged female students.
51.

Despite such knowledge, Defendants negligently hired, retained, and/or failed to

adequately supervise Defendant SOLOMON in the position of trust and authority as a teacher
with a leadership role with children where he was able to commit the wrongful act against the
COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES
9


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