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Another Sexual Battery Lawsuit Against Kaiser

Alvarez v. Kaiser Permanente

Male Doctor on Exam RoomThis medical malpractice claim was filed in Prince George's County after a physician used pain management examinations as an excuse to sexually assault numerous patients. It was filed in Health Claims Arbitration on March 8, 2018, and it is the 117th medical malpractice case filed in Maryland this year.

Summary of Plaintiff's Allegations

In yet another battery claim, eight additional women accuse a pain management physician of sexual abuse. Each of the eight women presented to Kaiser with lower back pain, and each of them endured an inappropriate and abusive physical exam that included genital touching, massaging the buttocks, and/or anal or vaginal penetration. One woman reached out to the pain management specialist, a Kaiser nurse, and another Kaiser doctor to report her discomfort about the exam. The Kaiser staff expressed no concern about the incident and dismissed her complaints, falsely maintaining that the physician had performed a routine pan management examination. If this is not a pattern of abuse then what is a pattern of abuse?

Even after Kaiser began to recognize the physician's abusive pattern, they never followed-up with any of his patients to notify them about the allegations of sexual assault. Seven out of the eight women discovered the extent of the physician's inappropriate actions only after the story appeared in the news media. These women had to receive confirmation from the media, rather than their medical provider, that the physician's medically unnecessary exams were, in fact, sexual battery.

The only thing Kaiser did to address these numerous complaints was to enroll the physician in a continuing medical education seminar which reviewed the protocol for having a chaperone in the exam room. The physician lied and told Kaiser that he completed the seminar. Kaiser never confirmed that the physician did indeed complete the seminar, and never verified that a chaperone was accompanying the physician during patient exams. In an environment with such lax supervision, the physician continued his pattern of inappropriate and abusive conduct.

In an untimely response to multiple reports of sexual assault, the physician was eventually fired. Kaiser never properly reported the incidents to the Maryland State Board of Physicians, so it took several more years for the doctor's medical license to be revoked.

Additional Comments
  • Multiple other claims have been filed over the past year accusing the same pain management physician of sexual abuse, including a claim filed in January 2017 that we believe has settled. This class action lawsuit is the last of three claims filed on the same day, by the same law firm, against the same defendants. Kaiser is willing to settle these cases. The question is what is a fair monetary value?
  • As an employer, Kaiser is responsible for the damages caused by their on-the-job staff. When Kaiser first learned about the allegations against the pain management specialist, the accepted standard of care dictates that Kaiser should have prevented the physician from spending any time alone with his patients. They should have assigned him a chaperone or better yet, suspended him from clinical practice altogether.
  • More than 3,100 doctors in the United States have been accused of sexual misconduct - including the doctor in this case's identical twin brother - since 1999. But you know this is just a fraction of the doctor-patient sexual assault cases. Few women who suffer this abuse report the violations to police or state regulators.
  • Our firm has only one of these cases but we think it is the best case out there because of the damages and how many reports there were before our client was assaulted.
Jurisdiction
  • Prince George's County
Defendants
  • Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group, P.C. d/b/a Kaiser Permanente Kensington Medical Center and Kaiser Permanente Largo Medical Center
  • Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States, Inc.
  • Bryan Williams, M.D., pain management specialist
Kaiser Facilities Where Patients Were Treated
  • Kensington Medical Center
  • Largo Medical Center
  • Gaithersburg Medical Center
Negligence
  • Failing to implement safety protocol after receiving reports that the defendant pain management specialist had performed abusive physical exams.
  • Failing to provide a chaperone or remove the defendant pain management specialist from clinical practice.
  • Failing to protect the claimants from a suspected sexual predator.
  • Failing to inform the claimants about allegations made against the defendant pain management specialist.
Specific Counts Pled Getting a Lawyer for Your Malpractice Claim

Have you been sexually assaulted by a doctor or other healthcare provider. Miller & Zois can help you. Call us at (800) 553-8082 and speak to one of our medical malpractice attorneys who can help you or get an online case review.

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