When patients go to doctors they normally entrust the doctor with quality medical care. On Monday, February 2, 2010, a Delaware Grand Jury returned an indictment against a prominent pediatrician accused of serial molestation in what could be one of the worst child sex abuse cases in the nation’s history. The 160 page indictment returned by a Sussex County Grand Jury charged Dr. Earl Bradley of Lewes, Delaware of 471 counts of sexual crimes against 103 children. As Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden was quoted as saying, “These were crimes committed against the most vulnerable among us - those without voices". The charges against Dr. Bradley include rape, sexual exploitation of a child, unlawful sexual contact, continuous sexual abuse of a child, assault, and reckless endangerment.
As an experienced Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer who has handled some of the most egregious and shocking cases of sexual assaults involving a physician, I am well acquainted with the physical and emotional consequences that can be suffered by the victims and their families as the result of such sexual abuse. The number of sexual assaults by physicians seems to be growing rapidly according to recent studies. Frequently this problem is noted in the field of psychiatry and an anonymous national survey indicated that roughly 10% of psychiatrists responded to having had sex with at least one patient.
Jury verdicts against physicians accused of sexual abuse are normally quite high. However, most often confidential settlements are entered into and many times the results of these claims are not accurately reported or available to the public. When a patient goes to a physician, they typically expect to be provided with a sense of care for their well being, trust, and security. Any physician who violates that trust and uses their position of authority to take advantage of a vulnerable patient should be prosecuted to the fullest extend of the law both civilly and criminally.
At the experienced Philadelphia medical malpractice law firm of Reiff & Bily, we have exhaustively handled similar cases and have carefully reviewed patient’s records to identify departures from the accepted professional protocols and have evaluated manipulative behavior utilized by healthcare professionals who take advantage of a patient. We not only demand financial damages, but we are prepared to deal with criminal authorities, licensing bureau, and work with prosecutors to make sure that those who commit such crimes are successfully prosecuted and isolated from the trusting public. When a trauma such as sexual abuse occurs, patients often retreat within themselves and such feelings of isolation and humiliation often prevent them from speaking out. Psychiatric counseling is often mandated. Sex abuse is never acceptable in life yet alone in any type of professional treatment. Almost always, sexual abuse results in serious psychological damage to the victim and many times the abuse can be so extreme that it results in suicide or commitment to a mental hospital. Many of these harms have been deemed to be permanent.
If you or a loved one has been sexually abused by a physician or other professional, please feel free to contact one of our experienced Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers for a free no obligation consultation at 1-800-421-9595.