Columbia University Irving Medical Center (“CUIMC”) and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital (“NYP”) today announced that they have reached an agreement with 79 women who were patients of former gynecologist Robert Hadden. These women, represented by the law firm of Slater Slater Schulman LLP, are among the patients who have reported instances of sexual abuse or misconduct by Hadden, who has been convicted of a felony-level crime and is awaiting trial on federal charges.
The agreement establishes a compensation fund of $71,495,000 to be distributed under the direction of an independent special master jointly selected by the parties. CUIMC and NYP continue to work to resolve outstanding claims with additional former patients.
“Thanks to a group of persistent and courageous women who never stopped seeking justice, Robert Hadden will never set foot in an examination room again,” said Adam P. Slater, Founding Partner at Slater Slater Schulman LLP. “At his core, Hadden was an evil man who preyed upon his patients, many of whom entrusted him with their healthcare and that of their unborn children. This resolution, in combination with the ongoing federal prosecution of Hadden, will hopefully reduce their trauma, allow them to find some measure of closure and put this horrific ordeal behind them.”
“Every patient deserves to be treated with dignity and respect and to be safe and secure. We are deeply sorry that Hadden violated these fundamental obligations. The settlement announced today reflects our determination to support the admirable women who have come forward and called attention to Hadden’s abhorrent behavior,” said Donna Lynne, DrPH, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Columbia University Irving Medical Center.
Hadden was convicted in 2016 in New York state court following a guilty plea to a criminal sex act in the third degree and forcible touching, and was required to surrender his medical license. Hadden is now awaiting trial in federal court on seven criminal counts of bringing women across state lines for the purpose of sexual abuse from 1993 to 2012. Hadden has not worked as a doctor since August 2012.
“Our goal has been to make sure that what Hadden did can never happen again. Over the past decade, we have prioritized a patient-centered approach to care and safety, and we remain committed to continually strengthening the safeguards that allow patients to put their trust in us,” said Dr. Lynne.
Since 2012, CUIMC has implemented a series of improvements to its policies and procedures to protect and empower Ob/Gyn patients and to ensure action and accountability when patients and staff raise concerns. These steps include:
- Informing all patients of their rights and what to expect during an examination;
- Mandatory training for all Columbia physicians and chaperones, conducted annually and as part of orientation, on the Chaperone Policy, which requires that a chaperone be present for sensitive examinations, and that parents or guardians are present when minors are examined;
- Confidential reporting lines for both patients and staff to raise concerns; and
- Robust systems to oversee, track and address issues of patient safety.
Additional information about these measures and related initiatives is available online.