The Cleveland Clinic allegedly kept a colorectal surgeon on its staff, treating patients, despite complaints from two of his patients that he raped them. The Cleveland Clinic reportedly settled one of the patient’s claims by paying a confidential settlement. The surgeon allegedly anally raped the two patients, one in 2008 and the other in 2009.
The alleged 2008 incident, which was the subject of the confidential settlement, occurred on April 11, 2008 in the surgeon’s office while the patient was having a rectal exam performed by the surgeon. The patient reportedly told the police that the surgeon had inserted his penis in her rectum and when she jumped up from the examination table, she saw the surgeon holding his penis in his hand. She ran out of the examination room without her pants on, exclaiming “Why did he do it? Why did you do this?” to which the surgeon, with his head in his hands, reportedly stated, “I don’t know,” according to an interview conducted by the police with a medical assistant.
When the police discovered semen in one of the surgeon’s examination rooms, the surgeon reportedly told the police that he masturbated to relieve stress.
A rape kit and other medical testing undertaken as a result of the alleged incident were inconclusive. The surgeon reportedly took a polygraph test that was presented to a grand jury investigating the matter, but no criminal charges were brought against the surgeon.
The alleged 2009 incident involved a patient who sought treatment from the surgeon on February 6, 2009, to have a hemorrhoid removed. The woman reportedly told the police that she was alone in the examination room with the surgeon when he gave her two pills to take. She recalled that she was groggy when she got on the examination table and the next thing she remembers was leaving the building. It was not until October 2014 that she alleges that she began having flashbacks, recalling being pushed from behind, turning around, and seeing the surgeon holding his penis. She initially reported the incident to the hospital but later contacted the police when she considered the pace of the police investigation to be too slow and she saw the hospital’s promotional materials that featured the surgeon.
The surgeon denies the allegations against him, reportedly stating that all of his patient examinations were chaperoned (his medical assistant reportedly stated that not all patient examinations had another person present, due to staffing limitations). The criminal matter has been expunged.
The surgeon left the hospital for “unrelated reasons” in the summer of 2017 and went to work at another hospital, which reportedly placed him on paid administrative leave the morning after being contacted by a news organization regarding the surgeon’s past (the new employer reportedly responded that the surgeon had passed all necessary background checks before he was hired).
Perhaps if the hospital did not require the woman involved in the 2008 incident to agree to keep the settlement confidential, then the second hospital would not have hired the surgeon, and prospective patients would have had a way of knowing about the allegations before choosing to become the surgeon’s patients.
If you or a family member may be the victim of inappropriate sexual contact or other sexual misconduct by a doctor or other medical provider in Ohio or in another U.S. state, you should promptly seek to consult with a local medical malpractice lawyer in your state who may investigate your sexual misconduct claim for you and represent you in a claim against a doctor or other medical provider, if appropriate.
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