A healthcare facility is facing a lawsuit, as is a physician and a nurse anesthetist, in a case in which professionals are accused of sexual abuse and sexual harassment.
A surgical technician at Adventist Medical Center – Hanford in California took a cellphone video of a nurse anesthetist that she claims shows him exposing himself and masturbating during a surgical procedure.
The woman’s attorney, John Little, JD, of Fresno, CA, released the video publicly after she filed a lawsuit accusing the hospital of ignoring her reports of sexual harassment by the anesthetist and a urologist. She alleges that urologist Seetharaman Ashok, MD, touched and kissed her without her consent and made inappropriate sexual comments about her. Some physical contact was recorded by surveillance cameras, the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit also claims that the doctor made a false allegation of misconduct and incompetence against a friend and co-worker of the woman who had witnessed the harassment. The woman’s attorney stated in a news conference that she had reported the harassment to hospital leaders, but the attorney said nothing was done. When the hospital also didn’t respond to her reports that nurse anesthetist Richard McGrory was exposing himself to her during surgeries, she decided to record him, the lawsuit says.
The woman and her co-worker friend are seeking unspecified damages for sexual harassment, unlawful sexual battery in the workplace, and retaliation. According to their attorney, the urologist still has privileges at the hospital and the anesthetist was allowed to resign. The hospital provided favorable recommendations to the anesthetist for use in obtaining another job, according to the complaint.
The complaint against Adventist Medical Center – Hanford is available online at http://tinyurl.com/hdbpa7q. Adventist Health spokeswoman Christine Pickering issued a statement saying the allegations of cover-up were “false and misleading” but that the organization does not discuss pending litigation.