Sexual Abuse Complaints Against California Doctors Increasing

Sexual Abuse Complaints Against California Doctors Increasing

The Medical Board of California is responsible for the licensing and supervision of the state’s 115,000+ practicing physicians and related health care providers. As part of its duties the Board investigates charges of provider misconduct, including allegations of sexual abuse involving patients and co-workers. In this post, the sexual abuse victim’s lawyer at The Doan Law Firm discusses the rising number of sexual abuse complaints filed against California doctors and related health care professionals.

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According to a report published in the Los Angeles Times on August 12, 2019 the Medical Board of California received 280 complaints of sexual misconduct by physicians during the 2017-18 fiscal year versus 173 such complaints the previous year. For the year 2019 the Board’s website listed a total of 1,026 complaints received but does not list the nature of the complaint nor does it make searching for the eventual action taken by the Board an easy matter.

Some of the more recently-reported cases involving alleged or proven sexual abuse by a California-licensed physician or health care provider include:

  • In Napa Valley, Dr. Andrew Charles Patrinellis agreed to voluntarily surrender his license to practice medicine for 2 years after he was accused of sexual exploitation of a female patient, negligence and furnishing controlled medications without a prescription. The patient, a 23-year-old, died of a drug overdose in January of 2018. According to a story in the July 28, 2020 issue of the Napa Valley Register, Patrinellis had treated the victim for back pain and insomnia with Ambien and Adderall despite knowing that she had a history of emotional instability and substance abuse. While he was providing and/or prescribing her medications with a high abuse potential, the victim and Patrinellis engaged in an ethically “inappropriate” sexual relationship fueled by his providing her with medication.

  • Dr. Patrick Clyne, the former chief pediatrician of the Santa Clara County foster care system, has been named in a lawsuit alleging that he molested a victim identified only as “Kyle” on repeated occasions beginning when the victim was 8-years-old. According to court documents Clyne has been the subject of more than a dozen child sexual abuse complaints since 2001.

  • In Oceanside, Dr. Edgar Manzanera entered guilty pleas on five counts of sexual exploitation involving women patients who were referred to him by a local Veterans Administration outpatient clinic.

  • In February, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights released a report criticizing the University of Southern California’s handling of complaints made against Dr. George Tyndale, a former gynecologist at the school’s Engemann Student Health Center. The school has acknowledged that as many as 14,000 students may have been victims of sexual abuse by Dr. Tyndale.

Contacting a California sexual abuse victims lawyer

Under California law, a victim of sexual abuse may be able to bring a lawsuit against their abuser even if the abuse happened years years ago. Although each case is unique, in general a sexual abuse lawsuit can usually be filed:

  • within 10 years of the incident of abuse or within 10 years of the last incident of ongoing sexual abuse by the same abuser

  • if a victim was a child at the time of the abuse, the victim can file a lawsuit at any time within 10 years of reaching their 18th birthday

  • within 3 years of the “discovery” of sexual abuse, regardless of the victim’s age

If you were a victim of sexual abuse by a California-licensed physician or health care provider, we invite you to contact the sexual abuse victim’s lawyer at The Doan Law Firm, a California personal injury law practice with offices located throughout California, 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 victims’ lawyer are always confidential, 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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