Doctor Sexual Abuse Lawyer

Civil Liability Claims Against Perpetrators and Other Responsible Parties

Doctors and other healthcare practitioners are trusted to place patients’ well-being above all else. This trust is egregiously violated when physicians sexually abuse or assault a patient. Sex abuse by a doctor should never be tolerated, and victims deserve justice.

A lawsuit for sexual abuse or assault can be filed against the doctor who committed the act, as well as the hospital or institution that employs them. Filing a civil claim is a separate legal procedure from bringing criminal charges. Whereas a criminal case can lead to prison for the offender, only through a civil case can a survivor exact compensation for the traumatic harm that was done to them.

The doctor sexual abuse attorneys at Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo & Plotkin LLP help survivors get justice by holding doctors and hospital staff accountable, and by obtaining full and fair damages for our clients. We understand that it can be intimidating to come forward and make a report of sexual abuse against someone who is respected in the medical field and is in a position of authority. That’s why it’s important to have a team of compassionate and highly experienced attorneys on your side.

What Qualifies as Doctor Sex Abuse?

Doctor sexual abuse can happen in many different ways, including:

  • Making inappropriate comments or sexual advances
  • Taking photos of a patient without consent
  • Refusing to provide a dressing gown
  • Inappropriate touching during an examination or outside of it
  • Forcing or coercing a patient to undress body parts that are not pertinent to the procedure
  • Overmedicating a patient to make it easier to commit sexual misconduct
  • Attempting or committing rape of any kind – vaginal, anal, oral
  • Bargaining sexual favors in exchange for treatment, medication, or money
  • And others

Doctor sexual assault and abuse cases are typically defined as “intentional conduct,” not negligence. Since most medical malpractice insurance policies explicitly exclude liability for an intentional act like sexual assault, doctor sex abuse claims are often complex.

It is vital to hire an aggressive and experienced attorney who knows how to navigate the legal nuances so you can focus on your emotional and physical health. Reach out to our firm today for a free and confidential consultation.


Victims Have the Right to File a Civil Lawsuit

Doctor sexual assault is a crime. A doctor who abuses patients can face imprisonment, have their medical license revoked and become a registered sex offender for life.

If you report the assault to the police, they will write up a report and investigate your claims. Whether the accused will face criminal charges is ultimately up to the district attorney.

However, victims have the power to pursue a civil claim against the doctor regardless of what steps, if any, are taken by law enforcement.


Compensation Available to Victims of Physician Sexual Abuse

A lawsuit/civil claim enables you to pursue compensation for the financial and emotional costs resulting from the abuse. Damages that may be recovered include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • IIED (intentional infliction of emotional distress)
  • Counseling and/or therapy costs
  • Lost wages or income
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Punitive damages (in some cases)

The amount of compensation available in a doctor sexual abuse case will depend on several factors, including but not limited to:

  • The extent of physical and emotional injuries suffered by the plaintiff
  • Whether or not there were any other contributing factors
  • Any prior history of similar conduct by the doctor in question

Though no amount of money can take away the pain and distress of being sexually abused, money recovered from a lawsuit can help survivors pursue optimal emotional, psychological and physical care. For a free case review, please contact our attorneys today.


Who Can File a Sexual Assault Lawsuit Against a Doctor?

Anyone who has been emotionally or physically injured by unwanted sexual contact or inappropriate behavior by a physician can file a lawsuit. In some cases, witnesses to the abuse may also be eligible to file a lawsuit for negligent affliction of emotional distress against the doctor. Additionally, the spouse or domestic partner of the abused person can add a loss of consortium element to the lawsuit for the losses they have suffered.


What If My Dependent Was Assaulted?

When a child, an adult with special needs, or an older person is a victim of doctor sexual abuse, the victim’s family has the power to file a civil lawsuit on their behalf.


What If the Hospital Was Aware of the Abuse?

In some physician sexual abuse cases, victims may be able to seek compensation from a third party if they can prove that the third party had prior knowledge of the abuse and did not act to prevent it. Liable parties could include:

  • Hospitals
  • Universities
  • Religious organizations
  • Any other institution that had knowledge of the doctor’s past behavior


Do Not Let Them Intimidate You

Many predatory doctors use threats, coercion, deception or bribery in an attempt to silence their victims. This causes victims to question themselves. They wonder: Was what I experienced really sexual abuse? Was it illegal? What will happen to me if I speak up?

Even if your doctor is causing you to doubt your experience, it is crucial that you speak up and stay strong. Remember, the law is on your side. Moreover, sexual abusers are often repeat offenders. When you pursue legal action, you pursue justice for yourself and ensure the practitioner will not be able to repeat their deplorable actions with other patients.


Past NYC Sexual Abuse Cases

In recent years, there have been several high-profile cases of doctor sexual abuse and assault in New York:

  • Darius Paduch, a prominent urologist, was accused of sexually abusing multiple patients under the guise of medical treatment.
  • David Newman was convicted of sexually assaulting several patients at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan.
  • Columbia University gynecologist Robert Hadden was convicted of federal sexual abuse charges in January 2023.

These are just a few examples of the many doctor sexual abuse cases that have taken place in New York City. Unfortunately, these cases are not as rare as one might hope, and anyone who has been sexually assaulted by a doctor should not hesitate to reach out for help.

Our sexual assault lawyers are prepared to go the distance for victims of medical practitioner sexual abuse.


Understanding the Statute of Limitations and The Adult Survivors Act

As of 2019, the statute of limitations in New York for adults filing civil claims for certain sex crimes, such as criminal sexual acts like doctor sex abuse, is 20 years. This legislation was not retroactive, meaning it’s only relevant to new cases. However, the Adult Survivors Act offers a path for those wishing to come forward about past abuse.


The Adult Survivors Act

The Adult Survivors Act (ASA) (CVP § 214-J) allows a one-year window for survivors of sexual abuse to file lawsuits, regardless of the statute of limitations, if the abuse occurred when they were 18 or older. The ASA facilitates claims against abusive doctors, liable institutions, and employers who were aware of the abuse. The one-year window was initiated on November 23, 2022, and will end on November 23, 2023.


The Child Victims Act

The Child Victims Act of 2019 (CVA) extended the statute of limitations for child sex abuse survivors. Prior to the CVA, the deadline for survivors to file a lawsuit against their abuser was one to five years after turning 18. Survivors may now file civil lawsuits against their abusers until they reach the age of 55. Similar to the ASA, survivors can also file claims against institutions that should have been aware of the abuse.


Our Attorneys Help Survivors Seek Justice

When a physician you trust abuses you, you need a lawyer that is experienced in cases of this matter to aggressively stand up for your legal rights.

If you were sexually assaulted by a doctor, our firm is prepared to investigate all avenues for compensation. We will alert the appropriate authorities and work to prove what happened by gathering witness statements from other medical professionals or patients, surveillance footage, medical records, psych evaluations, and more.

Call (212) 684-1880 or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation with our sexual abuse and assault lawyers in New York.