Doctor Sexual Assault Lawsuit

Sexual assaults committed by a doctor or health care professional can have a lasting impact on a patient’s life, causing physical and emotional trauma while creating a distrust of the medical community.

At Sokolove Law, we’re committed to standing up for survivors of doctor sexual assault and securing compensation on their behalf. Call us at (800) 995-1212 now to learn if you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against a medical professional or health care facility.

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Sexual Abuse by Doctors & Health Care Professionals

Medical professionals are often seen as knowledgeable and trustworthy individuals. However, some doctors may abuse the trust that patients place in them by engaging in inappropriate conduct and sexually assaulting or harassing those in their care.

While there have been thousands of reports made against physicians in the U.S. for sexual abuse, few have gone on to permanently lose their medical license or serve time in jail. Many abusive doctors have also been protected by the institutions that employ them.

Approximately 50% of doctors who faced disciplinary action for sexually abusing patients were allowed to continue practicing medicine, according to a national study conducted by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

First-time patients and children may be at a higher risk of doctor sexual assault, as they may not be aware of what’s considered appropriate during a medical exam.

Pediatric abuse can occur even when parents are present in the exam room. Some survivors have reported doctors positioning their bodies between the child and the parents to shield their actions.

Examples of Medical Sexual Abuse

During an exam by a doctor, it can sometimes be difficult to distinguish between routine care and medical sexual assault. However, the American Medical Association provides clear guidelines on physician behaviors that are unacceptable.

If you are ever feeling uncomfortable during a medical exam, you can request a nurse or chaperone be present in the room with you while the exam is taking place.

Examples of sexual abuse by a doctor can include:

  • Asking questions or making jokes about sexual activity that are inappropriate and irrelevant
  • Committing sexual acts on patients who are either conscious or unconscious
  • Examining private parts of the body without wearing gloves
  • Performing unnecessary genital, rectal, or breast exams
  • Requiring patients to undress parts of their body that are not being examined
  • Taking inappropriate pictures of a patient with their personal device
  • Touching themselves inappropriately while conducting an exam

Talking with your children about what is considered sexual abuse by a doctor is crucial for promoting a safe health care environment.

Not sure if what you experienced was sexual assault? We have female case managers on staff who can help you understand what happened and discuss which options may be available to you.

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If you believe you may have been a victim of sexual assault, get in touch with one of our compassionate case managers. It costs nothing to speak with us.

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Who Can File a Medical Sexual Assault Lawsuit?

You may be able to file a lawsuit for medical sexual assault if you:

  • Experienced sexual assault or harassment during a medical exam
  • Are the parent or guardian of a child who was abused during an exam

Reporting the incident to an authority, like your state’s medical licensing board or the police, is also important and may prevent others from being harmed in the future.

Doctors who sexually abused patients should be held accountable for their actions. Filing a sexual abuse lawsuit can allow you to pursue compensation and hold the doctor or hospital responsible for the pain you experienced accountable.

Filing a Medical Exam Sexual Assault Lawsuit

At Sokolove Law, we strive to make filing a medical sexual abuse lawsuit as stress-free as possible, so you can focus on your healing and loved ones.

Our doctor sexual abuse lawyers can:

  • Determine if you may be able to take legal action during a free case review
  • Gather evidence and build a strong case on your behalf
  • File your medical exam sexual assault lawsuit before any deadlines
  • Negotiate a settlement with the defendant(s)
  • Present your case in court if a settlement is unable to be reached

You only have a limited amount of time to file a doctor sexual assault lawsuit due to state laws known as statutes of limitation. Once this deadline passes, you won’t be able to take legal action for the harm you experienced again.

You don’t have to navigate this difficult time alone. Call (800) 995-1212 now to find out how our team can support you through the legal process.

Doctors Accused of Sexually Assaulting Patients

Doctors across the country have been accused of sexually assaulting and harassing their patients, leaving deep emotional scars on those they were supposed to be caring for.

Unfortunately, doctors sexually abusing patients is more common than we may think — and many assaults go unreported. Since most doctors see thousands of patients in a single year, the number of survivors across the United States alone may be staggering.

Dr. David Newman | Emergency Medicine Physician in New York

Dr. David Newman, who worked in a New York City emergency room, was convicted of assaulting four patients who were under his care between August 2015 and January 2016.

In addition to inappropriately touching patients, he also gave one woman unnecessary medication to sedate her while he carried out his assault.

Dr. Newman was charged with:

  • 1 count of first-degree sexual abuse
  • 4 counts of third-degree sexual abuse

He pleaded guilty to all of the charges against him and was sentenced to two years in prison.

Dr. Derrick Todd | Rheumatologist in Massachusetts

Dr. Derrick Todd, a former rheumatologist, has been accused of sexual assault by over 130 patients. A class action lawsuit was filed against Dr. Todd in Suffolk Superior Court on October 11, 2023.

Lawsuits against Dr. Todd allege he:

  • Performed unnecessary breast, vaginal, and rectal exams on patients
  • Made inappropriate comments and asked unnecessary sexual questions during exams
  • Met with patients outside of typical work hours and texted them repeatedly

Contact us now to learn how we may be able to help you during this difficult time.

Dr. Fabio Ortega | OB/GYN in Illinois

At least 46 women have filed lawsuits against the former employers of Dr. Fabio Ortega, who worked as an OB/GYN in the Chicago area. These lawsuits allege Dr. Ortega's employers were made aware of his actions — but allowed him to continue seeing patients without a chaperone.

Survivors of Dr. Ortega claim he:

  • Asked patients inappropriate questions about their sex lives
  • Called patients late at night and tried to meet them outside of work
  • Falsified medical records in an attempt to get patients to return to his office
  • Touched patients inappropriately

Criminal charges were also brought against Dr. Ortega, and he was sentenced to three years in jail. Gynecologists sexually abusing patients underscore the urgent need for oversight within the sphere of women’s health.

Dr. Richard Kauff | Pediatrician in Massachusetts

Dr. Richard Kauff, a former pediatrician in Norwell, MA, has been accused of assault by 24 patients.

As of November 2023, Dr. Kauff has been charged with:

  • 13 counts of indecent assault and battery on a child
  • 4 counts of rape on a child

Lawsuits against Dr. Kauff allege he inappropriately touched patients and performed internal pelvic exams, which should not be done during routine pediatric check-ups.

Dr. Kauff retired in 2022. Following the allegations against him, he has agreed to voluntarily give up his medical license and refrain from practicing medicine for the foreseeable future. Dr. Kauff was released on $50,000 bail and is due to appear in court again on January 11, 2024.

Dr. Robert Hadden | OB/GYN in New York

Dr. Robert Hadden, who previously worked as an OB/GYN at a university-associated medical center in New York, was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for sexually abusing patients.

Dr. Hadden saw tens of thousands of patients throughout the course of his work, and over 245 patients have come forward claiming he abused them.

He is accused of:

  • Conducting prolonged breast exams using his whole hand, rather than just fingertips
  • Convincing women to travel across state lines for exams, during which he abused them
  • Having patients undress completely when not necessary
  • Offering unsolicited advice about sex
  • Touching patients inappropriately and performing oral-genital contact during exams

Despite being arrested by the police after a patient called 911 following her assault, Hadden’s employer allowed him to continue practicing medicine. He was later convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison for sexually abusing patients.

Get Help from Our Medical Sexual Assault Lawyers

If you believe you or a loved one may have suffered abuse by a medical professional, our sexual assault lawyers are here to help.

A couple with a young child consults with a lawyer

Since our founding in 1979, Sokolove Law has recovered over $9.1 Billion for our clients nationwide — and we’re prepared to fight for justice and compensation on your behalf.

Filing a lawsuit may allow you to seek closure and accountability for the pain you’ve experienced, while also helping you to pay for therapy, medical bills, and other expenses.

Nobody deserves to suffer in silence. Call (800) 995-1212 or fill out our contact form. There’s no cost to speak with us.

Medical Exam Sexual Assault Lawsuit FAQs

What is considered doctor sexual abuse?

In some instances, it can be difficult to distinguish between routine medical care and sexual abuse. However, there are established boundaries that medical professionals should not cross.

Examples of sexual doctor abuse or harassment can include:

  • Breast, genital, or rectal exams that weren’t medically needed
  • Conducting an exam while touching themselves inappropriately
  • Inappropriate or irrelevant questions about a patient’s sexual history
  • Making patients undress more than is necessary for an exam
  • Not wearing gloves during an examination
  • Performing sexual acts on patients

If you think you may have been abused by a health care professional, we may be able to help you seek justice and accountability.

Call (800) 995-1212 now to speak with one of our compassionate case managers.

What should you do if a doctor abuses you?

When a doctor touches you inappropriately or sexually harasses you, it is important to get the medical and emotional care you need. Reaching out to a therapist, counselor, or loved one can provide crucial emotional support during this difficult time.

If you believe you were sexually assaulted by a doctor, you should also notify an authority like:

  • The hospital or facility where the abuse took place
  • Your state’s medical licensing board
  • The local police department

Reaching out to a medical sexual assault lawyer can be helpful too, as they can let you know how to take action against the doctor or hospital responsible for the pain you experienced.

What is the definition of medical abuse?

Medical abuse refers to harm inflicted upon a patient by a health care professional. This can include a range of actions, including any physical, sexual, or psychological harm.

If a doctor abuses a patient, it is a violation of professional ethics and may be considered a crime depending on the situation.

Survivors of medical abuse may be able to file a civil lawsuit against their doctor or the health care facility where they sought care. Get a free case review now to see if you may be eligible.

Do you have to get undressed for a physical?

During a physical, many patients will be asked to undress down to their undergarments and wear a hospital gown, so they can be examined. Doctors should communicate with patients to ensure they are comfortable while preparing for an exam.

If doctors ask patients to undress more than is necessary for an exam, this may raise some red flags. Undressing completely for a physical is not always considered normal.

Is it normal for doctors to check private parts?

It depends. Certain exams, like pap smears, mammograms, and prostate checks, require doctors to examine private areas. Doctors may also complete a quick genital exam during pediatric check-ups to look for signs of puberty, like hair growth.

However, it’s important to keep in mind:

  • Internal pelvic exams are not done during routine pediatric check-ups
  • Your doctor should be able to explain their reasoning for checking private parts during an exam
  • You can also call a doctor’s office to ask if what you experienced during your exam is considered routine medical care
  • Health care facilities are required to provide chaperones if requested or allow people to have a friend or relative accompany them during an exam, according to the American Medical Association

If you’re concerned that you or your child may have experienced abuse at the hands of a medical professional, call Sokolove Law now at (800) 995-1212.

We can help you determine if what happened to you may be assault — and work to hold the responsible parties accountable.

How much does it cost to work with a doctor sexual assault attorney?

At Sokolove Law, we don’t charge any upfront or out-of-pocket costs to work with our doctor sexual assault attorneys.

Our team works on a contingency-fee basis, which means we only get paid if we successfully secure compensation for you. 

Author:
Sokolove Law Team

Contributing Authors

The Sokolove Law Content Team is made up of writers, editors, and journalists. We work with case managers and attorneys to keep site information up to date and accurate. Our site has a wealth of resources available for victims of wrongdoing and their families.

Last modified: January 2, 2024

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  2. Boston 25 News. “Former Norwell pediatrician accused of sexually assaulting young girls during annual checkups.” Retrieved from: https://www.boston25news.com/news/local/former-norwell-pediatrician-accused-sexually-assaulting-young-girls-during-annual-checkups/466U6CEDCBBUTPWKZUPRLFQ3JU/. Accessed on November 20, 2023.
  3. CBS News. “‘Astounding and inexcusable,’ More than 130 women now claim Dr. Derrick Todd sexually assaulted them.” Retrieved from: https://www.cbsnews.com/boston/news/court-cases-dr-derrick-todd-sex-abuse-boston-hospitals/. Accessed on November 20, 2023.
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  5. National Library of Medicine. “Honoring the public trust: curbing the bane of physician sexual misconduct.” Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8968028/#:~:text=A%20contemporaneous%20investigation%20by%20the,misconduct%20between%201999%20and%202016.&text=Our%20own%20analysis%20identified%20a,NPDB%20between%202000%20and%202019. Accessed on November 29, 2023.
  6. Patch. “$35M Settlement In NorthShore, Sex Offender OB-GYN Birth Injury Suit.” Retrieved from: https://patch.com/illinois/evanston/35m-settlement-northshore-sex-offender-ob-gyn-birth-injury-suit. Accessed on November 29, 2023.
  7. ProPublica. “How Columbia Ignored Women, Undermined Prosecutors and Protected a Predator For More Than 20 Years.” Retrieved from: https://www.propublica.org/article/columbia-obgyn-sexually-assaulted-patients-for-20-years. Accessed on November 29, 2023.
  8. RAINN. “Sexual Abuse by Medical Professionals.” Retrieved from: https://www.rainn.org/articles/sexual-abuse-medical-professionals. Accessed on November 20, 2023.
  9. The Atlantic Journal-Constitution. “License to betray: A broken system forgives sexually abusive doctors in every state, investigation finds.” Retrieved from: https://doctors.ajc.com/doctors_sex_abuse/?ecmp=doctorssexabuse_microsite_nav. Accessed on November 29, 2023.
  10. The Boston Globe. “Retired Norwell pediatrician arraigned on child rape, indecent assault charges, 22 more alleged victims come forward.” Retrieved from: https://www.bostonglobe.com/2023/11/20/metro/retired-norwell-pediatrician-due-in-court-on-child-rape-charges/. Accessed on November 20, 2023.
  11. The New York Times. “The Big #MeToo Moment for Doctors Is Finally Here.” Retrieved from: https://www.nytimes.com/2023/11/20/opinion/abuse-doctors-patients-metoo.html?unlocked_article_code=1.AE0.YXCG.S014RKTAbnTd&smid=url-share. Accessed on November 29, 2023.
  12. U.S. Department of Justice. “Former Obstetrician/Gynecologist Robert Hadden Sentenced To 20 Years In Prison For Sexually Abusing Numerous Patients.” Retrieved from: https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/pr/former-obstetriciangynecologist-robert-hadden-sentenced-20-years-prison-sexually. Accessed on November 29, 2023.
  13. WCVB. “22 additional women, girls accuse retired Massachusetts pediatrician of abuse.” Retrieved from: https://www.wcvb.com/article/pediatrician-dr-richard-kauff-norwell-rape-charge-1700494414/45893697/ Accessed on November 20, 2023.