Lawsuit Alleges NewYork-Presbyterian Covered Up Urologist Sexual Abuse
Some of the men who claim Darius Paduch sexually abused them said he also overprescribed them opioids so they would become dependent on him.
NEW YORK CITY — A new lawsuit filed on behalf of dozens of former patients alleges NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center covered up years of sexual abuse by urologist Darius Paduch.
In April, 55-year-old Paduch was arrested after being accused of sexually assaulting patients, including minors, starting in 2015, Yahoo reports. Paduch has remained behind bars since his arrest.
The latest lawsuit, filed Thursday on behalf of 58 male victims, alleges abuse from 2003 to 2022. The suit named Paduch, NewYork-Presbyterian, the Weill Cornell Medical Center, Columbia University, and others as defendants.
“For nearly two decades, [Paduch] pretended to practice medicine in the field of Urology, while instead engaging in a career of racketeering, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, and sex trafficking of both minors and adults,” said the lawsuit. “During this time, [Paduch] acted as a disgusting, sadistic, and perverted sexual predator who used his esteemed and trusted position with [defendants] to sexually groom, exploit, abuse, rape, molest, fondle, sodomize, and commit various acts of physical, verbal, and sexual assault and battery on thousands of patients, including the plaintiffs herein, all under the pretense of providing legitimate, medically necessary, medical care.”
The 140-page suit alleged Paduch would overprescribe his patients to get them addicted to opioids so they would become “dependent” on him over time, and that he performed unnecessary surgical procedures without anesthesia to “inflict pain.”
Paduch also allegedly “subjected [patients] to inappropriate” questioning on topics like their sex lives and sexual orientation and “peppered each of them with a series of irrelevant questions for long periods while ogling, groping, touching, penetrating, and objectifying each of their unclothed bodies and penises.”
The complaint also claims Paduch lied about having a wife and children “with the sole intention of grooming, distracting, normalizing the abuse, and disarming the patients, so he could prolong the time he had access to their bodies while pretending that everything he was doing to them was clinical in nature.”
Lawsuit Claims Weill Cornell Medical Ethics Officer Tried to Hide Reported Abuse
The suit claims the hospital system “knew, early on, exactly what [Paduch] was doing to their patients” but did not take action. It claims Dr. Joseph Fins, a top Weill Cornell Medical Ethics officer who is also named as a defendant, was told directly about Paduch’s alleged abuse of an underage boy, according to The New York Post. Instead of reporting it to the State Office of Professional Medical Conduct, Fins and the Weill Cornell Ethics Board reportedly had hospital lawyers try to “buy the victim’s silence.”
“New York-Presbyterian Hospital has a long history of protecting sexual predators—and then feigning ignorance after they’ve been caught,” said plaintiff lawyer Anthony DiPietro. “It’s time for the hospital and its Admins to be held accountable.”
Back in January, Dr. Robert Hadden, an OB-GYN at Columbia/NewYork-Presbyterian, was convicted of sexually abusing four patients between 1993 and 2012. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison in July.
In 2016, Hadden pleaded guilty to two charges of forcible touching and third-degree sexual abuse. Although he never went to prison for these charges, he did surrender his medical license and register as a low-level sex offender.
Last year, Columbia University Irving Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian agreed to pay more than $165 million to 147 women who say they were sexually abused by the former doctor.
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