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Hospital sued by 11 North Carolina patients over doctor’s abuse

| Feb 13, 2012 | Medical Malpractice |

Medical malpractice can happen under a variety of circumstances in Fayetteville and throughout the entire state of North Carolina. A doctor could mistakenly perform surgery on the wrong side of a patient’s body, a nurse could fail to properly monitor a patient who has been given a strong painkiller and a hospital’s inadequate policies and procedures could certainly jeopardize the health and safety of patients.

In a recent lawsuit citing hospital negligence, 11 patients from North Carolina claim that they were abused by a doctor after seeking treatment from the physician. The patients claim that the incidents of abuse could have been prevented had the doctor’s former employer warned other institutions who later hired the physician about earlier reports of abuse involving the physician. A judge is deciding whether or not to allow the lawsuit against the hospital to proceed.

The lawsuit in question was filed against Children’s Hospital Boston, one of the physician’s former employers. According to the lawsuit, complaints from patients accusing the doctor of abuse were filed with the hospital in Boston as early as 1967. But when the doctor was later hired by the University of North Carolina Medical School in Chapel Hill, the hospital failed to report the incidents of alleged abuse to the man’s new employer.

While practicing in North Carolina, 11 patients came forward claiming that they were sexually abused by the physician during medical treatments. After discovering that the Boston hospital received similar complaints, the North Carolina victims sued the hospital for negligence, claiming that the medical community could have better monitored the physician in order to prevent similar incidents of abuse on other patients.

Attorneys for Children’s Hospital Boston claim that the hospital had no duty under its state’s laws to report the allegations of abuse to other institutions in North Carolina. The physician accused of sexually abusing his patients in North Carolina committed suicide a year ago after a class action lawsuit was filed against him.

Source: The Boston Globe, “Judge will decide whether to dismiss lawsuit against Children’s Hospital Boston,” Martine Powers, Jan. 26, 2012

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