Sexual Abuse by Doctors Who Were Government Employees
In other posts on this website the medical malpractice and sexual abuse victim’s lawyers at The Doan Law Firm have discussed the problem of sexual abuse by physicians and other health care providers. In many such cases the abuser was in individual private practice or was a member of a private practice medical group. In today’s post our sexual abuse lawyer reviews recent cases where the abusing physician was an employee of a local, state, or federal agency.
The following cases are a sampling of recent news reports involving physicians who were government employees at the time they allegedly committed acts of sexual abuse involving their patients:
Officials at the University of Michigan have confirmed that the school has received “hundreds” of reports that former athletic team physician Dr. Robert Anderson sexually abused male and female student athletes while he was an employee of the University from 1968 to 2003. The school is offering to compensate those victims who have notified the school of their abuse, but only if the victims will agree to drop lawsuits that have already been filed or agree not to sue the university. Dr. Anderson died in 2008.
In March 2020 Ohio State University announced that it had reached a settlement in about half of the nearly 350 claims it faced over sexual abuse charges made against former athletic team physician Dr. Richard Strauss. The claims involved incidents that occurred between 1979 and 1998. Dr. Strauss died in 2005.
In February of this year Dr. Pedro Ibarra-Perocier, a family medicine practitioner at the Indian Health Service’s clinic on the Yankton Sioux Reservation in Wagner SD, was indicted on eight counts of sexual abuse involving four adult patients. Dr. Ibarra-Perocier has entered a plea of not guilty.
Also in February, former Indian Health Services pediatrician Dr. Stanley Patrick Weber was sentenced to five consecutive terms of life in prison after he was convicted in 2019 of sexually molesting boys as young as nine-years-old on Native American reservations in Montana and South Dakota between 1995 and 2011. According to testimony at his trial, Indian Health Service officials did not act to their own suspicions about his misconduct, attempted to silence others who raised similar concerns, and transferred the doctor from one reservation to another after his supervisors concluded he might have molested his patients.
In January, the University of Southern California announced it had reached a settlement in a class action lawsuit that accused former USC student health clinic physician Dr. George Tyndall of sexually abusing female patents while he was an employee of the school from 1989 to 2016. According to court documents Tyndall, who was a board-certified gynecologist, may have molested as many as 14 thousand female students over the course of his 27 years as a State of California employee.
As shocking as the above-mentioned cases may be, they represent only those cases that have been reported in the national news media! At The Doan Law Firm, we have found that many cases of sexual abuse by government-employed health care providers are “hushed up” at the local level and are never mentioned in news reports!
In law, there is the assumption that an employer is ultimately responsible for the actions of its employees. In the case of a government-employed physician or health care provider the government agency that employs the provider has the legal duty to make sure that the physician is qualified in his or her medical specialty, that the physician complies with nationally-accepted standards of care, and does not engage in unethical or illegal behavior with patients. Should the employer fail to properly supervise its employee, both the employer and its employee could be found liable by a court and both may be ordered to pay damages to an injured patient.
If you were a victim of sexual abuse by a government-employed physician we invite you to contact the sexual abuse victim’s lawyer at The Doan Law Firm, a national law practice with offices located throughout the country, to arrange a free review of your case and a discussion of the legal options that may be available to you.
When you contact our firm, you case review and first consultation with our sexual abuse victim’s lawyer are always free and never obligate you in any way to hiring us as your legal counsel. Should you decide that a lawsuit is in your best interest and that you would like for us to represent you in court, we are willing to assume full responsibility for all aspects of preparing your case for presentation to a jury in exchange for a percentage of the final settlement we are prepared to win for you.
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