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LEVY KONIGSBERG FILES GROUNDBREAKING SEX ABUSE LAWSUIT AGAINST ROCKEFELLER UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL

The attorneys at Levy Konigsberg, known for representing thousands of children in the Flint and NYCHA lead poisoning crises, recently filed a class action lawsuit against Rockefeller University Hospital for its role in the sexual abuse of pediatric patients and re-traumatization of abuse survivors.

Background

For over 40 years, Rockefeller University Hospital allowed Dr. Reginald Archibald to molest children under the guise of medical treatment.

Archibald was a pediatric specialist of growth and maturation who served on Rockefeller’s faculty from the 1940s through the 1980s. During this time, Archibald used his position to sexually abuse an unknown number of the approximately 9,000 children under his care. Victims have reported that they were physically assaulted by Archibald and coerced into posing for pornographic photographs that subsequently disappeared from their medical files.

The abuse took place on Rockefeller University grounds, using Rockefeller University equipment, and under the auspices of Rockefeller University’s prominent medical research program. It’s unclear how much the hospital knew about the abuse, or how far back in time that knowledge goes. So far, investigators have turned up allegations dating back to the 1990s, and Rockefeller University admits it has known about the abuse since 2004 at the latest. A number of victims have reported that they filed complaints with Rockefeller, but that the hospital simply declined to investigate.

Despite knowing about Archibald’s abusive conduct since at least 2004, and likely much earlier, Rockefeller University waited until 2018 to contact possible victims. It did so via a targeted mass mailing to Archibald’s former patients. Many victims were unprepared for shock of receiving—out of the blue and in the form of an unsolicited communication from the very entity that facilitated their abuse—a reminder of devastating betrayal at the hands of a trusted doctor and institution.

Rockefeller University failed its victims at every step of the way—by turning a blind eye to Archibald’s predation, ignoring and burying allegations, prioritizing its own reputation over the safety and well-being of current and former patients, and finally re-traumatizing victims through a belated, self-serving, and invasive mass notification.

The Lawsuit

Our sexual abuse lawsuit against Rockefeller University includes individual allegations by our lead plaintiff and class allegations on behalf of all of Dr. Archibald’s former patients who received, and were re-traumatized by, the recent targeted mailing. Our complaint alleges that Rockefeller University Hospital’s unsolicited communication intruded upon the seclusion of adult survivors of childhood abuse and intentionally and negligently inflicted emotional distress on a vulnerable class of individuals.

Victims Sue for Reckless Notification of Abuse

Plaintiffs suffered abuse between approximately 1959 and 1961 under Archibald’s guise during a purported growth study. However, many refrained from disclosing their torment to anyone, not even among themselves, until recent times. Media coverage surrounding Archibald and the New York Child Victims Act catalyzed a discourse among the victims, unearthing the shared, clandestine ordeal of child sexual abuse perpetrated by the same physician.

The victims’ mutual disclosures illuminated the extent of the devastation inflicted upon them and their families by the abuse. Similarly, the lawsuits they presently pursue cast a revealing light on a legacy of abuse and concealment throughout Rockefeller Hospital’s history. Despite multiple investigations into Archibald’s conduct, it is the survivors stepping forward that unveil the breadth and depth of the abuse.

In response to numerous reports implicating Archibald in sexual abuse, hospital administration issued a missive to former patients, disclosing that “the University retained Debevoise & Plimpton LLP to investigate reports of sexual misconduct by Dr. Archibald.” The ensuing report, unveiled on May 23, 2019, delineated crucial findings:

Dr. Archibald engaged in acts of sexual misconduct and abuse toward many pediatric patients while affiliated with Rockefeller University Hospital.

Exploiting his trusted status, Archibald perpetrated a systemic pattern of misconduct, sexually abusing numerous children over an extended period during medical consultations and treatments.

Archibald typically maintained annual patient visits, occasionally more frequent for those on medication, including siblings devoid of growth or endocrine issues.

In late 1960, the New York County District Attorney’s Office subpoenaed medical records for two of Archibald’s patients, likely prompted by a complaint, and the then-President of RU was apprised of the inquiry.

The investigation concluded by underscoring warning signs of Archibald’s abuse that warranted earlier recognition, appreciation, or further pursuit.

IF YOU WERE ABUSED BY REGINALD ARCHIBALD AND ROCKEFELLER UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL, PLEASE CONTACT US TODAY FOR A FREE CASE CONSULTATION. WE CAN BE REACHED AT OR THROUGH THE FORM ON THIS PAGE

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