One of the most heinous violations of trust and safety that can occur is sexual assault in a medical setting. A patient should always feel safe and protected. Yet, as articles continue to surface regarding sexual abuse in a medical facility, it is clear that such safe havens are not always trustworthy. For example, at least 80 individuals have spoken against a New York City hospital whose pediatric endocrinologist abused them as children. Another doctor, gynecologist Robert Hadden was accused of assaulting dozens of patients between 1993 and 2012 during his tenure at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and New York-Presbyterian Hospital.
Types of Sexual Abuse in Medical Facilities
Any unwanted touching or contact without consent may be considered sexual assault. In medical facility settings, instances of sexual assault and abuse may include:
- Inappropriate touching during examinations
- Forcible sodomy
- Object penetration against the patient’s will
In some instances, sexual assault happened while the patient was under anesthesia. These assaults can leave a lasting impact on the victim’s physical and mental well-being that should not be overlooked.
Theories of Liability
Theories of liability refer to the legal responsibility that hospitals and healthcare providers have in ensuring their patients’ safety while under their care. Several theories can be used to hold hospitals liable for the actions of their employees when it comes to cases involving sexual abuse. These include negligent hiring (failing to properly screen potential employees), respondeat superior (allowing an employee to act on behalf of the employer), breach of fiduciary duty (not upholding trust) and negligence per se (strict liability for violations).
Pursuing Justice for Victims
It is important for victims of sexual assault in medical settings to find justice and be able to heal from their trauma. Victims can pursue legal action against the hospital, healthcare provider or other guilty parties. In some cases, this may involve filing a medical malpractice lawsuit or a civil lawsuit for damages. Regardless of the route taken, victims should know they have rights and resources available to bring those responsible for their suffering to justice.
For more information on what legal options are available to survivors of sexual abuse in medical facilities and how you can access support services, please contact Levy Konigsberg today. With the right guidance and knowledge, you can take steps toward holding your attackers accountable while protecting yourself from further harm.
Seeking Justice with Levy Konigsberg
At Levy Konigsberg, we are committed to helping victims of medical sexual assault and abuse find justice. Our team is experienced in handling these cases, and we strive to provide our clients with the resources they need to seek compensation and closure.
If you’re a survivor of sexual abuse, you deserve justice. Contact us today at (800) 315-3806 or fill out our form online for a free initial consultation.