Texas Doctor Accused Of Sexual Assault, Abuse Of Power
Serious allegations and now a lawsuit surround a Marshall doctor who is accused of sexual abuse of one of his patients. The patient has since filed a lawsuit against the doctor claiming that, at the time, he was in recovery from drug addiction. The doctor and the patient formed a friendship and the doctor gave the patient tickets to games and more notably, access to benzodiazepines and opioids. Sometimes, the doctor wrote prescriptions for these drugs, but other times, he took the drugs from either his personal stash or from other patients to give to his friend. At some point, the friend says that the doctor used his extreme inebriation to commit a sexual assault on him.
The plaintiff was able to get the doctor on tape admitting to the sexual assault and the use of drugs to perform a sexual assault. However, those tapes never made it before the grand jury when the doctor was being charged with sexual assault. The grand jury decided not to indict. It is generally not considered a good policy to demand that a sexual assault victim go get their own evidence from the perpetrator. In cases where the victim makes the effort, it does not seem honest that his efforts would not make it in front of a grand jury which would have ultimately voted to indict based on a taped confession.
Now, what happens?
The victim is now a plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit against the doctor. He has requested that the tapes he secured at the request of his local police department be returned to him for the purposes of his civil lawsuit. That request was granted. So even though the grand jury didn’t get to hear damning evidence against the defendant, a civil jury will.
Do medical malpractice policies cover sexual assault?
No! Of course not! There is no policy that will indemnify a policyholder from sexual assault. However, plaintiff’s attorneys can phrase allegations in such a manner that it creates a conflict for the defendant’s insurance company. The complaint must be phrased in such a way that the allegations are of a breach of the standard of care for the medical industry. This places the insurance company in one of two positions. The insurance company can either subsidize their policyholder’s rape allegations or can deny the claim (which they usually do). The plaintiff’s attorney then cuts a deal with the physician to admit to negligent behavior that is covered by the policy. If the insurance company still refuses to honor the claim, the plaintiff’s attorney can represent the defendant in a bad faith insurance claim against their policy provider. If the plaintiff’s attorney wins the bad faith claim, the money is passed from the insurance company to their client, the plaintiff. The doctor does not have to openly admit that he committed sexual assault.
However, the prevailing standard of care for the medical industry requires that male doctors be attended by females when they are examining a female patient. Obviously, the rules need to be updated, but in cases where a doctor is left alone with a patient to whom he has a sexual attraction or potential sexual attraction, the doctor is breaching the prevailing standard of care.
Talk to a Houston Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you’ve been injured due to the negligent treatment of a medical doctor, call the Houston personal injury attorneys at Livingston & Flowers today to schedule a free consultation and discuss your options moving forward.