Man claims hospital repeatedly forced cavity search
David Eckert, 54, is suing Gila Regional Medical Center in Silver City, NM, accusing clinicians there of "subjecting him to multiple digital penetrations and three enemas," and other "shockingly invasive medical procedures," according to his lawsuit filed recently.
Eckert’s attorney provided these highlights from his lawsuit:
• He was detained for a traffic offense, during which officers claim Eckert was acting nervous and clinching his buttocks. When a police dog indicated the presence illegal drugs, police sought to search Eckert’s rectum.
• He spent more than 12 hours in custody in January 2013 at a police station and then at the hospital. However, he never was charged; nor did authorities find illicit substances on him.
• "Defendants acted completely outside the bounds of human decency by orchestrating wholly superfluous physical body cavity searches performed by an unethical medical professional," the lawsuit states.
• Police obtained a search warrant from a judge authorizing a search "to include but not limited to his anal cavity."
• Hospital personnel performed an X-ray, and two doctors performed two digital searches of his rectum. One doctor also searched his stool and found nothing.
• Later in the day, hospital personnel administered three enemas to Eckert, followed by a chest X-ray and finally a colonoscopy. No drugs were found.
• Many of the tests took place outside the 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. timeframe for which any such search warrant (unless otherwise authorized) is legally valid under New Mexico law, according to the lawsuit.
• The warrant also was invalid because the searches were performed outside the county in which it was issued, the lawsuit claims.