The city of Los Angeles is asking a judge to order an independent psychological examination of a Los Angeles police captain who says she suffered physically and emotionally after a nude photo of a woman was circulated in the workplace amid false claims that the image depicted the plaintiff.
LAPD Capt. Lillian Carranza alleges in her sexual harassment suit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court in January 2019 that LAPD command staff knew the naked image was being circulated within the force, along with disparaging comments about her, but didn’t tell the 32-year veteran, who is the commanding officer of the Commercial Crimes Division.
“Plaintiff Lillian Carranza has placed her mental and physical condition and alleged injuries at issue in this matter and, despite efforts to meet and confer to reach a stipulation to conduct an independent mental examination and an independent physical examination, no agreement has been reached,” Mark Waterman, an attorney for the city, wrote in his court papers filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday.
In her October 2019 deposition, Carranza said has suffered from headaches, problems sleeping at night, fatigue, lack of appetite, heart palpitations, high blood pressure, heart disease and depression, according to Waterman’s court papers.
“There can be no question that (Carranza) has placed in controversy whether she is suffering from physical damages and injuries as a result of the city’s alleged acts,” Waterman stated in his court papers. It is well-settled law than an independent medical examination, and a motion to compel such a test, are appropriate when a party places his or her medical condition at issue, Waterman wrote in his court papers.
A hearing on the city’s motion is scheduled Dec. 10 before Judge John P. Doyle. Carranza says in a sworn declaration that she first learned of the photo being passed around in November 2018 and that she obtained a copy from a non-LAPD employee.
“I noted that the facial features of the woman in the picture bore a striking resemblance to me, although the photograph was not actually of me,” Carranza says in the declaration. “In fact, I concluded that my own eye appears to have been Photoshopped into the picture.”
Carranza says that after learning about of the widespread circulation of the nude photograph, she became “keenly aware that many LAPD employees with whom I interact as I go about conducting my duties are likely to have observed LAPD employees displaying the nude picture or making derogatory comments about me related to this photograph at work.”
Carranza said the dissemination of the photo has left her “extremely humiliated and degraded in all my professional interactions, including with my superiors, subordinates, and co-workers.” Many department members who Carranza has known for years believed the woman in the image was her, according to the plaintiff, who says she received little support from the LAPD command staff.
“I felt hurt, abandoned and devalued by my superiors … who took no steps to prevent known harm to me from occurring and who stood by and watched, encouraged or simply looked the other way as I was ridiculed, humiliated and degraded by fellow LAPD employees, despite my persistent pleas for help,” Carranza says in her declaration.