Over 100 women have initiated a class action lawsuit, accusing a Boston doctor of conducting unwarranted physical examinations for his personal satisfaction, devoid of any medical necessity.
Dr. Derrick Todd, a former rheumatologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital until his departure in July, stands accused of conducting pelvic, breast, and rectal exams, all under the guise of medical care, but allegedly motivated by his own sexual gratification. The plaintiffs claim that these actions, which they argue included invasive and inappropriate touching, amounted to sexual assault.
According to Andrew Meyer, the attorney representing the plaintiffs, more than 100 women have joined the lawsuit. Meyer stated that Todd’s actions went “far beyond routine examinations,” and some patients felt pressured into allowing him to undress them and engage in unnecessary breast or pelvic exams, or both.
“Each of these women believed they were isolated in their experiences,” Meyer explained.
This complaint, filed recently, follows two additional lawsuits filed against Todd the previous week. One of these also accuses him of sexual assault under the pretext of medical care. Jonathan Sweet, a lawyer from the Keches Law Group who filed this lawsuit, anticipates that at least 10 of Todd’s former patients will join the case, though a precise number is not yet available.
The third lawsuit was initiated by a single plaintiff who alleges that, during her time as Todd’s patient from November to July, he made sexually inappropriate comments, coerced her to undress in front of him in the examination room, and performed medically unnecessary examinations that involved touching her breasts and genital area.
All three lawsuits list Brigham and Women’s Hospital as a co-defendant, along with two other medical practices where Todd worked. The alleged inappropriate acts reportedly occurred as far back as 2011 and continued until this July. A fourth lawsuit against Todd was filed by an anonymous patient in September and has been sealed.
Todd’s attorney, Ingrid Martin, stated that he has fully cooperated with all investigations. She emphasized Todd’s recognition as a skilled and accomplished rheumatologist, internist, and primary care physician over his two-decade medical career. Martin expressed confidence that the allegations would be found without merit when examined or litigated through appropriate channels, rather than in the context of media sensationalism or hasty judgment.
Dr. Charles Morris, the Chief Medical Officer at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, indicated that an internal investigation was initiated immediately after the hospital received two anonymous complaints about Todd’s conduct. Upon learning more about the situation, Todd was placed on administrative leave, and after the initial investigation concluded, he was terminated from his employment. Todd’s leave began in June, and his employment ceased in July.
Charles River Medical Associates, a group practice where Todd was employed, specializing in internal medicine, stated that they had not received or become aware of any complaints of inappropriate conduct by Todd throughout his tenure at the practice. They expressed disappointment and sadness regarding the allegations and acknowledged the courage of the patients coming forward. The statement emphasized their commitment to patient health and safety and their efforts to assist patients in reporting concerns.
Morris added that Brigham and Women’s Hospital had reached out to Todd’s current and former patients to discuss the care they received and connect them with additional services. He expressed deep regret for the harm caused by Dr. Todd’s actions and emphasized the hospital’s unwavering commitment to patient safety.
Todd signed a voluntary agreement last month with the state medical board to cease practicing medicine, though this agreement does not constitute an admission of wrongdoing.
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This case is not an isolated incident, as it echoes previous cases of doctors facing allegations of sexual assault. In one such case, a California doctor was charged with sexually assaulting multiple male patients under the guise of necessary medical exams. Additionally, in July, Robert Hadden, a former obstetrician at Columbia University, was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for luring victims across state lines to sexually abuse them. A trial revealed that Hadden had abused dozens of patients over more than two decades, with more than 245 patients alleging abuse, as reported by ProPublica.