Sexual Battery During Labor and Delivery Lawsuit

Venable v. Moore&Associates Obstetrics&Gynecology

Child During DeliveryThis medical malpractice claim was filed in Prince George's County after an orthopedic surgeon failed to even out a woman's leg length discrepancy during her second hip replacement procedure. It was filed in Health Claims Arbitration on February 8, 2018, and it is the 69th medical malpractice case filed in Maryland this year.

Summary of Plaintiff's Allegations

At 39-weeks pregnant, a 17-year-old woman was admitted to Prince George's Hospital Center for labor and delivery. The woman hadn't had any prenatal education, and her healthcare providers never fully informed her about the medical procedures she might undergo before they gave her consent forms to sign. Additionally, her exam form failed to document that she had diabetes and anemia.

A doctor entered the woman's room without introducing himself. The doctor instructed the woman's mother to move to a corner of the room, away from the bed. Then, he conducted a very inappropriate and invasive exam, placing his ungloved hands up the woman's gown, staring into her eyes rather than looking at what he was doing, massaging both of his hands up her thighs, and penetrating her vagina with one of his ungloved hands. Can you imagine what is in your heart to do this to a pregnant teenager? When the doctor left the room, the woman, a minor, told her mother that the exam hadn't felt right.

Approximately two and a half hours later, the doctor re-entered the room and again instructed the mother to move away from her daughter. Still without gloves, the doctor violently penetrated one of his hands into the woman's vagina with such force that the woman screamed in pain. The doctor repeated the jabbing motion several times, even though the woman was in obvious agony, attempting to writhe her body up the bed and away from the doctor. The woman waited approximately two and a half more hours before she was seen by another member of the medical staff.

When the doctor entered the woman's room for a third time, he violently penetrated the woman again with ungloved hands. He said that she was nine centimeters dilated and entered an order entitled "Induction or Augmentation of Labor." A nurse noted heavy vaginal bleeding, but there was no indication that she notified a doctor. The woman was also experiencing abnormal contractions and fetal heart rate patterns at that time.

Seven hours later, a nurse noted that the woman was experiencing 9/10 lower abdominal pain. The pain escalated to 10/10 over the next hour, but the nurse never notified a doctor. A new doctor called for an anesthesiologist when he discovered that the woman was difficult to arouse, and her baby was delivered an hour later. The baby had blue extremities and abnormally pink body, and the woman's pain assessment was still 10/10.

Three and a half years later, the woman received a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder based on the negligent and abusive medical care she received while delivering her child.

Additional Comments
  • The medical care and treatment provided during labor and delivery was such a negligent mess, this claim could qualify as a lawsuit in a number of categories. The statement of claim lists exclusively psychological damages, so it seems as though the claimant is focusing on sexual misconduct as her central complaint.

  • The statement of claim provides extensive details about the mistreatment the claimant suffered at the hospital, but it makes only two references to the health of her baby. The claim first mentions that the baby had abnormal fetal heart rate patterns hours before delivery, and then after birth, it describes the baby as unusually pink with blue extremities. Based on this minimal information, it seems possible that the baby could have suffered a birth injury as a result of medical negligence; in which case, the baby's mother could file a separate claim on her child's behalf.

  • The doctor, Charles J. Akoda, who allegedly sexually abused the claimant is not named as a defendant in this case, but he has appeared in many other medical malpractice claims in recent months because he does not have an active medical license (and was later convicted of social security fraud). You can read about another case filed against this doctor in Prince George's County.

  • Plaintiff's fear in the case is that a jury blames just the doctor who is not a defendant in the lawsuit and lets the defendants off.

Jurisdiction
  • Prince George's County
Defendants
  • Javaka Moore, MD (not the doctor accused of the assault)
  • Moore&Associates Obstetrics&Gynecology
  • Dimensions Healthcare Corporation d/b/a University of Maryland Prince George's Hospital Center
  • Dimensions Healthcare System
  • Three nurses
Hospitals Where Patient was Treated
  • Prince George's Hospital Center
Negligence
  • Failing to fully inform the claimant of the risks, benefits, alternatives, or probable outcomes of her medical treatments.

  • Failing to appropriately prevent and timely treat the complications from an aggressive, vulgar, and sexually suggestive vaginal exam.

  • Failing to appreciate the claimant's vaginal bleeding, pain, and medical history including anemia and diabetes.

  • Failing to properly investigate, credential, qualify, select, and supervise competent physicians and other medical staff.

  • Allowing the claimant to rely on false representations of her physicians.

Specific Counts Pled
  • Lack of Informed Consent
  • Medical Negligence
  • Grossly Negligent Credentialing
  • Constructive Fraud
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