Judge dismisses lawsuit alleging OB-GYN sexually assaulted over 100 women
PROVO, Utah — A judge dismissed a lawsuit in Provo involving 100 women who accused a gynecologist of sexual assault.
4th District Court Judge Robert Lunnen called OB-GYN David Broadbent’s treatment of patients “insensitive, disrespectful and degrading,” but said the district court does not oversee lawsuits like this. Lunnen argued in his order that any legal action against a health care provider is considered medical malpractice and should be filed as such.
But according to attorneys for the 100 women, sexual abuse is not medical care and shouldn’t qualify as medical malpractice.
Attorneys also argued that the statute of limitations for medical malpractice would restrict them only to women who met with Broadbent in the last two years. Malpractice would also cap damages at $450,000.
Broadbent has practiced as an OB/GYN since the 1980s and has an office in MountainStar Healthcare, as well as one in the middle of BYU’s student apartments, just a block from freshman dorms. His practice is currently on hold.
“A woman is rarely more vulnerable than when she is laying on an exam table, unclothed, trusting a male gynecologist to provide her with the medical care she needs,” started an amended court complaint filed by the women’s attorneys.
All women said they did not consent and even said “no” in some instances where Broadbent allegedly performed unnecessary breast exams and pap smears without gloves or tools.
Of the women who stepped forward, all admitted to feeling violated and ashamed but still returned to Broadbent. The complaint said the women returned because they trusted doctors, and didn’t know the procedures weren’t medical at the time.
The complaint states, “Broadbent concealed his actions under the guise of medically necessary care, shattered the trust these Plaintiffs and countless others placed in him, and committed these wrongful actions with no regard for the harm they caused to Plaintiffs and others.”
Broadbent is also accused of verbally abusing women.
The complaint said that women who had miscarriages were “jokingly” and falsely told a heartbeat was found when it wasn’t.
The complaint also alleges that women were told they weren’t ready for sexual relationships or to be parents, scolded when feeling uncomfortable during exams or for “not paying attention” and told they were becoming “fat” and no man would want to be involved with a woman of their size.
In the lawsuit, there are six causes of action not only against Broadbent but the hospital he practiced at: Sexual Battery against Broadbent, Sexual Assault Against Broadbent, Negligent Supervision against MountainStar, Fraudulent Misrepresentation against Defendants, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress Against Broadbent, Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress against MountainStar.
Attorneys expect more women to step forward and cited additional complaints on the internet, like in Google reviews for Broadbent’s practice.
Aimee Cobabe contributed to the reporting of this article.
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