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Over 200 Women, Several Men Accuse US Doctor Of Sexual Assault In Lawsuit

The lawsuit alleges that Derrick Todd began abusing patients in 2010. (Representative pic)

More than 200 women and several men have signed onto a lawsuit claiming that a Boston-based doctor performed inappropriate physical examinations on them that weren’t medically necessary. According to NBC Boston, the suit alleges that Dr Derrick Todd, who worked as a rheumatologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital until his departure in July last year, performed unnecessary pelvic floor therapy, breast examinations, testicular examinations and rectal examinations on patients. It also alleges that Todd began abusing patients in 2010. 

The lawsuit has been filed in Massachusetts’ Suffolk Superior Court. Apart from Todd, the suit also accuses several dozen other defendants, including Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital and Charles River Medical Associates, of knowing about the abuse and failing to stop it. According to NBC, the patients suing say the behaviour, which they say included harmful and offensive touching, amounted to sexual assault. 

In April 2023, allegations of inappropriate sexual touching began to emerge from a growing number of Todd’s female patients. The former doctor was then told he couldn’t conduct sensitive exams without a chaperone. In June, he was placed on administrative leave and then terminated from Brigham Women’s Hospital a month later. Todd was also forced to leave his private clinical practice at Charles River Medical Associates.

“We are deeply troubled by the upsetting allegations of harmful conduct committed by Dr. Todd,” the hospital said in a statement. “We take our duty to care for our patients and keep them safe extremely seriously. We have, and always will, act decisively on any allegations of misconduct, as we did in this case,” it added. 

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The Charles River Medical Associates said it was never made aware of any complaints of “inappropriate conduct” by Todd and said it reached out to patients to report their concerns. “We are deeply troubled and saddened by these disturbing allegations and recognize the courage it took for these patients to come forward,” it said in a statement.

According to the lawsuit, victims ranged in age from teenagers to women in their 60s. The suit alleges that Todd would gain patients’ confidence, go beyond treating their rheumatic diseases and become their only doctor while conducting invasive, unnecessary exams. 

During the exam, he would have the patients disrobe or wear a gown. Then, he would subject the patients to completely unnecessary vaginal, breast, and rectal examinations involving excessive and non-clinical forms of touching, the suit alleges. 

SOURCE

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