D’Amore Law Group Earns Sex Abuse Victim $950,000 in Oregon Hospital Trial
By: D'Amore Law Group
PORTLAND, Ore. - April 20, 2015 - PRLog -- A jury in Wasco County, Oregon handed down a $950,000 trial verdict against Mid-Columbia Medical Center in The Dalles.
The plaintiff who filed the lawsuit was a surgical patient at Mid-Columbia Medical Center (MCMC), and a nurse at the hospital. Anesthesiologist Frederick Field administered anesthesia to her—and then sexually abused her while she was under the influence of the anesthesia.
The plaintiff was not Field’s first victim. Despite multiple patient and staff complaints of sexual abuse and harassment, Field continued to practice at MCMC with the approval of the administration of the hospital. Administrators and staff ignored complaints, covered up evidence, and failed to alert the police—even though Field had been sexually assaulting women under anesthesia since at least 2007, and perhaps earlier.
“Hospital administrators concealed the existence of a sex abuser when they had complaints by patients of very specific and detailed acts of abuse,” said plaintiff’s attorney Tom D’Amore. “With this verdict, the jury sent a message to the hospital: do your duty and take steps to make patients safe.”
After a four-week trial, the jury found the hospital negligent and liable for punitive damages. The jury awarded the plaintiff $800,000 in compensatory damages, and another $150,000 in punitive damages. Punitive damages are meant to punish a defendant for reckless or dangerous conduct and to deter similar conduct in the future.
“This trial was about more than a depraved sex abuser,” said attorney Tom D’Amore. “The hospital is responsible for patient safety: not only did they fail to keep patients safe, they actively put many women in danger.
“Instead of listening when women reported abuse by Field, the hospital administration claimed the women were experiencing ‘hallucinations’
Field is currently serving a 23-year prison sentence. He pleaded guilty to sex abuse of the plaintiff and 11 other women, including rape of one other woman. All patients were at least partially sedated at the time of the assault, and could not defend themselves.
“Sexual abusers often seek out victims where they are most vulnerable—in places like hospitals. Hospital administrators know this, and are supposed to provide safeguards against abuse. In order to provide effective health care for women, a medical facility must be a safe place. I hope MCMC finally gets the message,” said D’Amore.