On December 7th, Wigdor LLP filed a lawsuit against Columbia University (“Columbia”) and New York-Presbyterian Hospital (“NY-Presbyterian”) alleging that these institutions permitted and condoned sexual abuse committed by former OBGYN Robert Hadden. As alleged in the Complaint, it has been reported that Hadden sexually abused thousands of patients, Plaintiff Jane Doe among them, with the sexual abuse including oral-vaginal touching; nonconsensual digital-vaginal; nonconsensual digital-anal penetration; serial, prolonged and non-clinical breast examinations; unnecessary appointments and procedures scheduled for the purposes of engaging in sexual assaults, and; numerous unacceptable sexually-charged remarks, comments and advice. Dr. Hadden was arrested in 2012, indicted by a New York State grand jury in 2014 and plead guilty to a felony sex crime in 2016, but did not serve any jail time. In 2020, Hadden was indicted again, this time by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, for numerous counts of sexually abusing patients. The criminal trial is scheduled to begin in January 2023.
The pain, suffering and trauma inflicted on so many women by Hadden could have been avoided if Columbia and NY-Presbyterian simply followed the law and carried out their duties with any level of reasonable care. As alleged in the Complaint, as early as 1994, Columbia/NY-Presbyterian were on express, written notice from one of Hadden’s OB/GYN patients that he had sexually abused her during a treatment session; yet they outrageously stood by, disregarded this notice and allowed Hadden to continue abusing patients for almost two decades thereafter until he was arrested in 2012 after orally assaulting a patient. It has been reported that there were numerous other express notices to Columbia/NY-Presbyterian that Hadden was engaged in criminal sexual acts and nothing was done to stop him. Incredibly, even after he was initially arrested, Columbia/NY-Presbyterian allowed Hadden to continue treating patients for several weeks during which time he abused numerous additional women.
To date, it has been reported that Columbia/NY-Presbyterian has paid more than $235 million to resolve claims related to Hadden’s abuse. However, with the passage of the Adult Survivor’s Act, additional women have already come forward to vindicate their rights. Jane Doe is a survivor of Hadden’s conduct and seeks to hold Columbia/NY-Presbyterian responsible to the fullest extent permitted by law. Jane Doe also seeks injunctive relief—changes to Columbia/NY-Presbyterian’s policies, practices and procedures—to ensure that others are not victimized the way she and so many other women were under Columbia/NY-Presbyterian’s care.
You can read and download a copy of the filed Complaint here:
Statement from Partner David E. Gottlieb:
“As a result of the Adult Survivor’s Act, survivors like Jane Doe can finally seek justice against those who not only those committed criminal sexual acts but institutions that condoned, enabled and allowed this conduct. Columbia/NY-Presbyterian’s violations of their legal, ethical and medical responsibilities must be condemned in the strongest possible terms.”