By: Kathryne Hemmings, Associate in G&E’s Civil Rights Practice
Marking a significant surge in survivors seeking justice, over 300 additional women have filed suit against disgraced former gynecologist Robert Hadden—adding to the hundreds of other victims who already filed sexual misconduct claims against him. These lawsuits are perhaps also motivated by the impending deadline for survivors to file civil sexual assault cases in New York under the Adult Survivors Act.
Last month, more than 300 former patients of gynecologist Dr. Robert Hadden filed sexual abuse claims against him in New York State Supreme Court. This barrage of claims brought against Hadden represents an exponential increase in the number of survivors seeking justice. Earlier this year, Hadden was sentenced to 20 years in prison for molesting dozens of female patients for roughly 25 years. The Wall Street Journal reports that the civil lawsuit alleges Hadden to be the most prolific serial sexual predator in New York state history.
Since losing his medical license several years ago when he was first criminally indicted for his misconduct, Hadden has been at the center of two previous settlements in 2021 and 2022, totaling $236 million on behalf of over 200 victims. Hadden’s alleged conduct occurred between 1993 and 2012. Having seen likely tens of thousands of patients throughout the course of his practice, Hadden’s victims may number far more than the few hundred who have spoken out thus far with their claims.
Also spurring the lawsuits is the pending deadline for survivors to file civil sexual assault lawsuits in New York. The Adult Survivors Act was signed into law in May 2022, empowering survivors of sexual offenses that occurred when they were over the age of 18 to take legal action. The law opened a one-year window for survivors to file claims, which started six months from signing. It allows survivors to sue regardless of the statute of limitations. For many survivors of sexual abuse, it may take years to process the trauma and feel ready to come forward and seek justice. But that window of time to so is coming to a close on November 23rd.
ProPublica published an exposé in September 2023, detailing patients’ attempts to alert Columbia University of Hadden’s misconduct. The university admitted no fault, placing blame solely on Hadden. Sadly, stories of decades-long cover-ups have been mirrored at other prestigious universities. In 2022, the University of Michigan paid $490 million to over 1,000 students—primarily male athletes—who said they were abused by sports doctor Robert Anderson. Earlier this year, a lawsuit filed by sexual assault survivors at Michigan State University sought accountability from the school for its role in covering-up misconduct of former University sports doctor, Larry Nassar, who was sentenced to serve many decades in jail after admitting to molesting Michigan State gymnasts for two decades under the guise of providing medical treatment.
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Grant & Eisenhofer’s civil rights attorneys can help you determine if you have legal options to file a sexual harassment or sexual assault lawsuit. Call (855) 244-2031 or use our online form to schedule a free consultation. You are not alone.
- 300 More Patients Claim Sexual Abuse by OB-GYN Robert Hadden - November 1, 2023