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Adult daughter was blatantly assaulted by physician...any recourse after the statute of limitations has passed?

Dallas, TX |

My daughter sought help from a physician seven years ago and during the first (and only appointment), he sent the nurse out of the room during an evening appointment and very blatantly assaulted her while asking her, "How do you like this?" etc... She filed a police report that night and called the hospital to report him the next morning.

The police scared her by asking, "Before I do anything with this, can you face this guy in a full court and say everything that happened?" The hospital contact was, at first, compassionate, but then stated that she spoke with the legal dept and could not speak to my daughter after that.

My daughter was re-traumatized when she looked him up on the internet and saw he was still working at the same hospital. Have we any recourse at this point?

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

unlikely that anything can be done at this time. The statute of limitations has most likely passed. She was an adult when this occurred?

You should consult an attorney in your State at once.

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6 comments

Asker

Posted

She was an adult and was bullied by police and ignored by the hospital. She is cripple emotionally because this man sedates patients daily and she feels incredible guilt, but she was diagnosed with rape trauma syndrome and unable to cope with the stresses of pursuing it at the time.

Bret A. Schnitzer

Bret A. Schnitzer

Posted

Some repressed memory cases have moved forward after the statute of limitations have passed, but it sounds difficult because the police were involved in the case. I trust that the doctor did not face criminal charges at the time. You should really consult with a very good injury attorney in your area right away.

Asker

Posted

Thank you for the advice. She's just told me about all of this after years of emotional agonizing and severe agoraphobia. Can we at least report this to the medical board at this time?

Bret A. Schnitzer

Bret A. Schnitzer

Posted

You certainly can do that, but i would see a medical malpractice attorney in your area as well right away. Maybe a creative lawyer can help right the wrong.

Asker

Posted

I will advise her to do just that. Thank you so much for your assistance.

Bret A. Schnitzer

Bret A. Schnitzer

Posted

You are so very welcome!

Posted

Exact dates matter, including (and especially) the date of the assault and the date your daughter turned 18.

I don't recommend that you be that specific, or any more specific than you've already been, even on a semi-anonymous website like Avvo.com. These are details to be explored in a direct consultation with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney (of whom there are MANY in Dallas) under the protective cloak of attorney-client privilege (which covers even direct consultations made for the purpose of evaluating your daughter's potential claims and selecting counsel).

You're correct that there are bound to be major statute of limitations issues, but there are some special rules for minors. Don't be disappointed that you can't get a confident and complete answer over the internet, and don't let that deter you from arranging a direct consultation with someone who (armed with all the details) can give you confident and complete advice on your possible remedies. Good luck to you and your daughter.

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4 comments

William J. Dyer

William J. Dyer

Posted

Your question implies that you've already realized this, but just in case: There is NO upside to delaying further in getting your questions answered. Don't let even another week go by if you have any intention of following up on this. There is no upside to further delay, but there are very substantial potential downsides.

Asker

Posted

Fortunately and unfortunately, she was an adult when the abuse occurred. Can we do anything to hold the hospital accountable for keeping him on staff? He is in a position where he sedates patients daily and my daughter is wrecked with guilt over this.

William J. Dyer

William J. Dyer

Posted

I don't mean to discourage you from consulting a local lawyer directly and in more detail; that may still be a good idea. But if your daughter was already at least 18 when the assault occurred and if it's been more than two years, then any claim for personal injuries is likely time-barred. You might inquire of its investigators whether the Texas Board of Medical Examiners might still be interested, but be prepared for them to tell you that they, too, think too much time has passed for anything your daughter now tells them to be actionable. Complaints to other organizations (like hospitals or practice groups) may carry downsides: More than one challenged physician has responded to what he perceives (or can argue) to be unjustified complaints with litigation of his/her own. If your daughter was an adult both when assaulted and when she withdrew her involvement in the investigation and potential prosecution, she may well be stuck with that as far as the law is concerned. But consider whether other professions' evaluations or advice might still be useful. She may be overharsh in her self-criticism or guilt, and counseling or guidance from a mental health professional might be more valuable to her than a lawyer's advice at this point.

Asker

Posted

Mr. Dyer, Thank you so much for your input. The last thing I want to suggest is something that will put her in danger of litigation from the man who assaulted her.

Posted

There are frequently things that can be done. It all depends on how old she is now and a large number of other factors.

If you would like, I would be willing to discuss your daughter's case with you. There are ways to get around statutes of limitations but it does get harder to do as time goes on. My number is 888-725-2988. Generally, even on weekends I can talk but even if I can't, someone will take down your number and we can talk soon.

There's absolutely no pressure to hire our firm or anything like that. I would be happy to answer any questions that you or your daughter might have.

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Posted

My law firm specializes in these cases. We just settled a similar case last year against a Central Texas doctor who sexually molested several of his patients. I broke a case in Dallas against a board-certified gastroenterologist who sexually abused a female patient while under anesthesia. That case and several other cases of mine are on my website under the tab "In the News." My father is a retired physician and former professor of medicine but he supports my fight to expose unscrupulous and abusive doctors. I do the same with doctors, therapists, and clergy who are sexual predators. There are different statutes of limitation that may apply depending on what he did to your daughter and how old she was. The limitation periods do not even start running until the victim turns 18 years of age. Call me and I can explain further at no obligation and no cost. Please visit my website at www.kevinmadison.com. I am a former police chief and former assistant district attorney and I have 30 years of litigation experience with an "AV" rating - the highest rating awarded for ethics and competence by Martindale Hubbell Legal Directory.

If this information has been helpful, please indicate below. I hope my information is helpful to you. If you think this post was a good answer, please click the "Good Answer" button below and/or designate my answer as the "BEST ANSWER". Thanks. This is a general response to a question for basic information and is not legal advice. Legal advice can only be given when all of the facts of your situation are discussed with a lawyer, which we have not done.. If you reside outside the State of Texas please understand that the laws may be different from the laws that I may cite in a my comment. This comment is not to be construed as legal advice to your particular situation because there are many factors that influence legal counseling- this is simply a comment. Response to an email does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the Law Offices of Kevin R. Madison, P.C., nor any of its attorneys. If you send us an e-mail, or call us, and we do not already represent you, neither your e-mail inquiry nor telephone call will create an attorney-client relationship. E-mails cannot necessarily be treated as privileged or confidential. Only entering into a written legal services contract with the Law Offices of Kevin R. Madison, P.C. will create an attorney-client relationship. There is no substitute for one-on-one legal advice and you are urged to meet with an attorney and discuss your case, personally, with an attorney in the state in which you reside or your case occurred. Thank you. Kevin R. Madison. Visit our website at www.kevinmadison.com and www.texassexualharassmentattorney.com. Kevin Madison, Austin, Texas- representing injured persons in motor vehicle collision, truck and motorcucle accidents and representing victims of sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual abuse, physical assaults, and representing victims of sexual exploitation committed by doctors, therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, clergy, counselors, priests, and rabbis. Visit our sexual harassment/sexual exploitation blog at http://texassexualharassmentattorney.com/blog/

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