Three female doctors have sued Los Angeles County for ‘ignoring’ their complaints about a prominent surgeon who allegedly stuck his fingers in a hip wound on an unconscious patient and made sex noises – claiming ‘I’ve found the G-spot.’
Dr. Louis Kwong, the former head of the orthopedics department at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, California, is accused of sexual harassment, retaliation and discriminatory behavior.
The plaintiffs, Dr. Haleh Badkoobehi, Dr. Jennifer Hsu, and Dr. Madonna Fernandez-Frackelton, all claim they were demoted when they complained about Kwong’s behavior.
They said in a lawsuit that hospital administrators ignored complaints about him for years – and that there was intense misogyny that existed at the facility, with all three saying they were paid less than their male counterparts.
One of the most damning allegations lodged by the women include that Kwong committed sexual misconduct on unconscious patients in the operating room. He worked at the hospital since 1990 and was placed on leave in March 2022.
Dr. Louis Kwong, the former head of the orthopedics department at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, California , was accused of sexual harassment, retaliation and discriminatory behavior
He also allegedly asked for a baseball game to be put on the television that was monitoring a patient’s operation and delayed acute surgery for county residents to perform elective procedures.
Kwong also carried a gun at work, and often brought it into operating rooms, the filing claims.
Badkoobehi claims in her lawsuit that she saw Kwong ‘engaged in “finger banging” of surgical hip wounds’ on an unconscious patient. He was making sexual sounds and saying he was ‘finding the G-spot,’ she claims.
Kwong also allegedly showed an anesthetized patient’s penis to Badkoobehi after ‘being told it was large.’
According to the lawsuit, Kwong once asked other Harbor-UCLA employees: ‘Who wants to take body shots off Dr. Badkoobehi?’
The resident doctors also felt encouraged to attend strip clubs together – and were sometimes taken against their consent, the lawsuit claims.
During a lecture to students, Kwong asked Badkoobehi: ‘What sexual position causes a penile fracture?’ And the doctor didn’t stop the questioning until he was given the answer: ‘reverse cowgirl,’ the lawsuit states.
Since Kwong was placed on administrative leave, he has earned as much as $1 million in pay and benefits in a year, NBC said.
In late June, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, placed Harbor-UCLA on probation after a visit resulted in all 64 emergency department residents submitting a complaint about toxic-work environments.
The complaints were specifically lodged against the hospital’s orthopedics unit, where Kwong had been in charge.
Haleh Badkoobehi. Kwong also allegedly showed an anesthetized patient’s penis to Badkoobehi after ‘being told it was large’
After Fernandez-Frackelton, 53, complained, she was removed as program director of the emergency department and was replaced by a less experienced man, the department told her they needed to give ‘a talented guy a chance before you turn into a pumpkin,’ the lawsuit claims.
Despite the hospital’s CEO saying that allegations about Kwong were ‘very serious,’ nothing changed, Badkoobehi said.
Kowng has not responded publicly to the allegations.
A representative of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services said: ‘Harbor-UCLA Medical Center is committed to the health and safety of our patients and staff. These allegations of misconduct are being thoroughly investigated and, if substantiated, will result in appropriate corrective actions.
‘We deeply value the trust the public places in our dedicated medical and patient care teams. Safeguarding patient care is our highest priority.’
Speaking to NBC, Fernandez-Frackelton said: ‘I love working with the patients. It’s an underserved population, the working poor in Los Angeles, and really satisfying and rewarding to care for them.
‘But our system should respond to complaints about the inadequate care they are getting.’
Carol Gillam, who represents the doctors, she said: ‘This story is unfortunately an all too familiar one about powerful doctors at prestigious teaching hospitals abusing patients and flaunting their own privileges and connections to the men who are supposed to supervise, discipline and remove them.’
This comes days after it was claimed that jailed Columbia University gynecologist Robert Hadden had 301 additional victims, a new lawsuit said.
The suit filed in the New York Supreme Court accuses Columbia of ‘covering up the sexual abuse’ of ‘the most prolific serial sexual predator in New York State history’.
Madonna Fernandez-Frackelton said: ‘I love working with the patients. It’s an underserved population, the working poor in Los Angeles, and really satisfying and rewarding to care for them’
Jennifer Hsu. She is one of the plaintiffs who have lodged the suit
Hadden was jailed for 20 years in July for sexually assaulting more than 200 patients while working at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and New York-Presbyterian Hospital. The abuse began in the 1980s and he resigned in 2016.
Columbia agreed to pay $72 million settlement to 79 of the doctor’s victims in 2021, and the following year reached a $165 million settlement with 147 patients.
Announcing the latest suit, attorney Anthony DiPietro alleges that Columbia arranged a coverup that was widespread and went on for years.
‘Columbia has shown very clearly that the only thing they care about is their money and if that is the case I want to hit them as hard as I can where it hurts them the most and hopefully they won’t let this happen again in the future,’ DiPietro told the Wall Street Journal.
Now the third civil cased filed against Columbia involving Hadden, they allege hospital administrators, nurses and other doctors helped cover up his abuse.
Columbia University President Minouche Shafik and Columbia University Irving Medical Center CEO Katrina Armstrong put out a joint statement in September addressing the crimes.
‘Columbia continues to grapple with the magnitude of harm done to the patients of former physician Robert Hadden. Nothing can excuse that these patients were mistreated in a setting where they should have been cared for and safe,’ they wrote.
‘We offer our deepest apologies to all his victims and their loved ones.’
And last October, a former gynecologist at the University of California, Los Angeles was found guilty on five counts of sexually abusing female patients, in a criminal case that came after the university system made nearly $700 million in lawsuit payouts.
The sex attacker was removed from court in handcuffs after receiving the verdict.
In the wake of the scandal that erupted in 2019 following the doctor’s arrest, UCLA agreed to pay nearly $700 million in lawsuit settlements to hundreds of Heaps´ patients – a record amount by a public university amid a wave of sexual misconduct scandals by campus doctors in recent years.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk
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