Dr Hadden Lawsuit: Legal Insights on Sexual Abuse

Delving into the sensitive issue of sexual abuse within the medical community, there has been a growing push for accountability and justice in recent years. The case of Dr Robert Hadden emerges as a standout example, highlighting the bravery of survivors determined to confront their perpetrators. This disgraced obstetrician-gynecologist, who worked for Columbia University and New York-Presbyterian Hospital, was criminally convicted in 2016 for exploiting and abusing patients under the guise of medical care. Dr Hadden shamefully exploited women and girls for almost 25 years at Columbia University. Shockingly, the administrators at Columbia University and New York-Presbyterian Hospital turned a blind eye, dismissing reports of abuse, and leaving survivors without support. At Ethen Ostroff Law, we acknowledge the gravity of this situation and applaud the courage of survivors who have stepped up. In this article, we offer a comprehensive analysis of Dr Hadden lawsuits, delve into the intricacies of the legal landscape, and illuminate how our sexual abuse team is poised to assist victims in navigating these challenging circumstances.

Disgraced Dr Robert Hadden

Dr Hadden, a serial sexual predator, obtained his New York medical license in 1990. His practice in gynecological medicine unfolded at Columbia University and its affiliated clinics and hospitals. Treating children, pregnant women, postpartum patients, and various gynecological cases, he operated at Columbia University, Columbia University Irving Medical Center, and New York-Presbyterian Hospital from 1993 to 2012, conducting an estimated 30,000 patient visits. At 64, as of August 2023, Dr Hadden most recently resided in Englewood, New Jersey.

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Dr Robert Hadden Sexual Abuse Allegations

For about 25 years, from around 1987 to 2012, Dr Hadden subjected hundreds of victims to ongoing abuse. This was not limited to a few individuals; many endured repeated sexual assaults spanning years. Exploiting his authority at esteemed medical institutions in New York City, Dr Hadden manipulated victims into believing that the abuse was appropriate and medically necessary. He took advantage of the power dynamic in the doctor-patient relationship, building rapport with victims.

Dr Hadden perpetrated abuse on patients during their most delicate moments by:

  • Asking inappropriate sexual questions about the victims’ sex lives during appointments 
  • Conducting skin checks to have patients undress 
  • Digitally penetrating his victims without consent 
  • Engaging in forcible touching, groping, and fondling during examinations 
  • Engaging in sexual behavior with minor children under the pretense of physical checkup 
  • Examining patients without gloves 
  • Extending medical appointments beyond reasonable limits 
  • Extracting colostrum from a victim’s breasts and tasting it 
  • Giving unsolicited sexual advice 
  • Inflicting unwarranted pain on his victims 
  • Isolating patients and conducting fake examinations 
  • Leveraging birth control to entice patients into sexual encounters 
  • Luring women to cross state lines for promises of professional help 
  • Making sexual comments about the bodies of his victims 
  • Making unlawful oral contact with his patients’ private parts 
  • Performing medical procedures with no medical chaperones 
  • Performing needless mole and scoliosis checkups 
  • Performing unnecessary medical examinations 
  • Scheduling follow-up visits for medical procedures that were not essential

Dr Hadden exploited and hurt hundreds of women, causing them significant pain and trauma. Shockingly, Columbia University did nothing to stop these distressing actions. 

Dr Hadden's Sexual Abuse Victims

Dr Hadden victimized individuals at Columbia University medical clinics from 1993 to 2012. His targets included:

  • Minors 
  • New mothers 
  • Pregnant women

Timeline of Dr Hadden's Sexual Abuses

Dr Hadden’s history of sexual misconduct spans decades, with survivors recently finding justice through civil litigation. Here is a summary of key events:

Timeline of Dr Hadden's Sexual Abuses

Dr Hadden’s history of sexual misconduct spans decades, with survivors recently finding justice through civil litigation. Here is a rundown of key events:

  • Early 1990s: Dr Hadden practiced at Columbia University in Manhattan. 
  • 1993-2012: Most abuses occurred, with a 1994 complaint emerging later, leading to criminal charges. 
  • June 2012: A patient reported Dr Hadden licking her during an exam, but no immediate action was taken. 
  • August 2012: Facing complaints, Dr Hadden quit, and Columbia informed patients without disclosing the reason. 
  • 2013: Columbia University falsely claimed Dr Hadden left voluntarily; he stopped due to sexual assault charges. 
  • June 2014: The Manhattan Supreme Court indicted Dr Hadden on six counts. 
  • 2016: Dr Hadden pleaded guilty to two state charges in a plea agreement with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and was required to register as a sex offender. He avoided prison and surrendered his medical license voluntarily. 
  • January 2020: Evelyn Yang, a former patient, publicly disclosed her abuse, bringing attention to the case. 
  • September 2020: Dr Hadden faced charges related to enticing victims to travel interstate. 
  • December 2021: Columbia University Irving Medical Center and New York Presbyterian Hospital agreed to pay $71.5 million to 79 survivors. 
  • October 2022: An additional $165 million agreement was reached for 147 more victims. 
  • January 24, 2023: Dr Hadden received an 80-year prison sentence for four of six federal sex trafficking charges. 
  • February 1, 2023: Dr Hadden was remanded to federal detention, awaiting sentencing on April 25. 
  • July 2023: Dr Hadden received four 20-year sentences in prison for sex trafficking, was fined $10,000, and faces a lifetime supervised release after serving concurrent counts. 
  • October 2023: Another 301 survivors filed a lawsuit against Columbia University. 
  • November 24, 2023: The deadline for victims to file a lawsuit against Columbia University

Columbia University and New York-Presbyterian Hospital's Role in Dr Hadden's Sexual Abuses

Columbia University and New York-Presbyterian Hospital played a significant role in Dr Hadden’s sexual abuses, leaving a lasting impact on survivors. Instead of protecting well-being, these institutions became enablers, contributing to a legacy of complicity that allowed a prolific serial sexual predator to thrive. Let’s delve into specific instances that reveal the extent of their involvement:

  • Cover-up and non-disclosure agreements: A 2020 civil suit accuses Columbia of aiding and covering up Dr Hadden’s abuses. Witnesses were silenced, and victims were coerced into signing non-disclosure agreements, hindering transparency and justice. 
  • Enablement of serial abuse: Driven by Columbia University, Dr Hadden emerged as a prolific sexual predator, tallying over 30,000 patient visits at Columbia and NYP Hospital. His victims, ranging from single and married women to pregnant individuals and minors, endured exploitation under the guise of medically necessary procedures. 
  • Inadequate guidance for victims: Patients were not instructed to contact law enforcement about their abuse; instead, they were directed to Columbia’s lawyer, hindering proper legal action. 
  • Lack of patient information: Columbia University failed to inform Dr Hadden’s former patients about his license revocation and felony convictions, contributing to a lack of transparency regarding his criminal acts. 
  • Lack of police investigation: Reports of abuse against Dr Hadden at Columbia University did not prompt a police investigation, further exacerbating the lack of accountability for his actions. 
  • Negligence and unreported complaints: Despite evidence of Dr Hadden’s misconduct surfacing as early as 1994, Columbia University failed to intervene, allowing him to practice unsupervised. Reports suggest that complaints were buried, and authorities were not informed. 
  • Persistent cover-up: Internal reports suggest that Columbia knew about Dr Hadden’s behavior as early as 1993, indicating a prolonged cover-up by top officials within the organization. 
  • Post-arrest failures: Even after Dr Hadden’s 2012 arrest, Columbia University permitted him to conduct intimate exams without chaperones, leading to further victimization. 
  • Reputation over well-being: Columbia consistently prioritized its reputation over the well-being of sexually assaulted patients, failing to report clinical misconduct as required by New York law. 

Dr Hadden and Columbia University: Lawsuits and Settlements

The lawsuits against Dr Hadden are numerous and ongoing, with Columbia University deeply entangled in these legal matters, including substantial financial settlements. Here is a concise overview:

  • On July 24, 2023, Dr Hadden received a 20-year prison sentence for enticing and inducing four victims to travel for sexual abuse. The maximum sentence for each count will be served concurrently. It is followed by a lifetime of supervised release. 
  • Over 200 former patients of Dr Hadden have settled lawsuits against Columbia University, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. 
  • In December 2021, Columbia University Irving Medical Center and New York-Presbyterian Hospital agreed to a $71.5 million settlement with 79 victims of Dr Hadden. An independent special master oversees the distribution of the compensation fund established by this agreement. 
  • In October 2022, Columbia University Irving Medical Center and New York-Presbyterian reached a $165 million settlement with 147 past patients of Dr Hadden. Again, an independent special master directs the distribution of the established compensation fund. 
  • A civil lawsuit against Columbia University alleges that Dr Hadden sexually abused 301 victims while employed by the university. The lawsuit contends that medical institutions like Columbia University conspired to conceal his crimes, gaslighting patients and enabling Dr Hadden to become the most prolific serial sexual predator in New York State history. 
  • Victims can join a group of other victims in a Robert Hadden class action civil lawsuit against the university to recover compensation for their abuse. 

Effects of Sexual Abuse on Victims

Dr Hadden exploited his position as a physician and masked his abuse as medical treatment. Sexual abuse can have serious psychological consequences, even if there is no physical harm. The effects of sexual violence can include:

  • Anxiety 
  • Depression 
  • Disordered sleep 
  • Dissociation 
  • Flashbacks 
  • Panic attacks 
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder 
  • Sexual dysfunction 
  • Substance abuse 

Dr Hadden Sexual Abuse Lawsuit

This lawsuit brings forth over 300 survivors’ claims of sexual abuse and misconduct against Dr Hadden, linked to Columbia University’s affiliated hospitals. Survivors allege that Dr Hadden misused his position, engaging in various forms of sexual abuse, such as grooming, exploitation, assault, rape, molestation, and fondling. The Dr Hadden lawsuit additionally accuses Columbia University of negligence, failure to cooperate with law enforcement, and violating mandatory reporting laws. 

Process for Filing Dr Hadden Lawsuit

If you or a loved one experienced sexual exploitation or abuse by Dr Hadden at Columbia University or its affiliated hospitals between 1987 and 2016, you may be eligible to file a Dr Hadden lawsuit. This legal action aims to hold Dr Hadden accountable for the reprehensible abuses and Columbia University for allowing them to occur. Here is a guide:

  • Consult with an attorney: Seek guidance from an attorney to assess the viability of your case. 
  • Gather evidence: Collaborate with your attorney to collect supporting documents indicating Dr Hadden’s abuses and the university’s potential involvement in covering them up, such as medical records and correspondence. 
  • File the complaint: Your attorney will draft and file a formal complaint outlining allegations and damages against Dr Hadden for his sexual abuses and against Columbia University for covering them up. 
  • Service of process: Officially notify Dr Hadden and the university of the lawsuit through service of process. 
  • Discovery: Exchange information and evidence through depositions and requests. 
  • Negotiation or mediation: Explore settlement options to potentially avoid a trial. 
  • Trial: If a settlement is not reached, your lawyer will present your case in court, and a judge or jury will decide the outcome. 
  • Judgment and damages: If successful, the court may award damages for losses incurred due to the alleged abuses and cover-up. 
  • Appeal (if applicable): Either party may have the right to appeal the court’s decision. 

Legal Claims in Dr Hadden Sexual Abuse Lawsuit

Several women have accused Dr Hadden, associated with Columbia University’s affiliated hospitals, of sexual misconduct. Their legal claims cover various aspects, including:

  • Failure to obtain informed consent: Dr Hadden is accused of conducting medical examinations without proper consent, involving inappropriate and non-consensual behavior. 
  • Lack of supervision and oversight: Allegations suggest Columbia University was negligent in supervising and addressing complaints, allowing misconduct to persist. 
  • Negligence: Some assert Columbia University, overseeing Dr Hadden, was negligent in monitoring and responding to complaints, enabling misconduct. 
  • Professional negligence: Claims state Dr Hadden’s actions during medical exams fell below the expected standard, causing harm to patients. 
  • Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act charges: The lawsuit alleges Dr Hadden’s actions were part of a larger pattern of criminal behavior within Columbia University and its medical institutions. 
  • Sexual misconduct: Multiple patients accuse Dr Hadden of unwanted touching, inappropriate comments, and sexual misconduct during medical appointments. 
  • Violation of patient trust: Patients claim Dr Hadden violated the trust and professional boundaries expected in the doctor-patient relationship. 

Compensation in Dr Hadden Abuse Lawsuit

While outcomes of Dr Hadden lawsuits vary based on case specifics, potential damages may include:

  • Emotional distress 
  • Lost wages 
  • Medical expenses 
  • Pain and suffering 

Hire Ethen Ostroff Law

The Dr Robert Hadden sexual abuse lawsuit is more than a legal proceeding; it is a beacon of hope for survivors. By seeking justice, survivors are not only holding their abuser accountable but are contributing to a larger societal shift against sexual misconduct within the medical community. At Ethen Ostroff Law, we understand the profound impact that cases like the Dr Hadden sexual abuse lawsuit can have on survivors. If you have been sexually assaulted by Dr Hadden or have information about his abuse or Columbia’s decades-long cover-up, there is still time to join the scores of women who have bravely stood up against the abuse. Let us fight to hold accountable the institutions and individuals who failed to protect survivors. While no amount of monetary compensation can erase the trauma of abuse, financial assistance can help pay for necessary expenses to allow the healing process to begin. 

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