New York hospital pays $165 million to 147 victims of Robert Harden

Two Columbia University-affiliated hospitals announced Friday that they have reached a $165 million settlement with 147 patients of a former Manhattan doctor accused of years of sexual abuse and misconduct.

In 2020, former gynecologist Robert Hadden was charged federally by dozens of women who said he sexually abused them between 1993 and 2012. Harden — accused of sexual assault in 2020 by Evelyn Young, the wife of then-Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Young — is awaiting federal trial, according to a press release from Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC) and New York-Presbyterian Hospital. . The hospital said he had not practiced medicine since 2012, when Yang said she was a patient.

The hospital’s settlement follows a December 2021 settlement involving 79 Harden patients’ women, the release said.

“We deeply regret the suffering of Robert Harden’s patients and hope these resolutions provide a level of support for the women he hurt,” CUIMC said in a statement.

CUIMC is one of seven centers affiliated with New York-Presbyterian, the academic medical system affiliated with Cornell University.

Gymnast abused by Larry Nassar reaches $380 million settlement with Olympic organization

Before Harden was federally charged, he pleaded guilty in 2016 to third-degree criminal sexual conduct and forcible touching, according to the release. But in a deal with Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr., Harden avoided jail time, instead giving up his medical license and registering as a sex offender.

Harden’s attorney did not immediately respond to The Washington Post’s request for comment early Saturday afternoon.

Yang was one of the women who testified before the grand jury, but she has remained anonymous for years. She spoke publicly about being Harden’s patient for the first time in a 2020 interview with CNN.

Young said in the interview that she saw headlines about Harden after another woman reported the abuse to police, which she has kept secret from her husband and most of her family.

On Saturday, she told The Washington Post that seeing another woman come forward gave Yang the courage to share her story publicly.

“I think I can help and reach out to other women,” she said. “This is 2020 and I never thought it would open the floodgates for hundreds of other women to come forward.”

Andrew Yang’s wife Evelyn Yang says she was sexually assaulted by her OB/GYN during pregnancy

In 2020, Harden was charged with six counts of seducing a woman to engage in unlawful sexual activity. The federal indictment lists six victims, including a minor, and describes their relationship with Harden as his patients. It doesn’t name them.

Victims listed in the indictment reported that Harden had abusive vaginal and breast exams while he was alone with them during the date, the documents said.

Over the past 10 years, Harden’s patients have increasingly come forward, said Anthony T. DiPietro, an attorney representing more than 200 women who have accused Harden of assaults, including Young.

He said he has nearly a dozen ongoing cases in addition to the 226 women involved in two settlements in Colombia and its affiliated hospitals.

“Many of these women didn’t even know they were being sexually exploited,” DiPietro said.

Another Hadden accuser, Marissa Hoechstetter, said she was the first survivor to go public with her story after speaking to BuzzFeed in 2018. After that, she received a flood of messages from people who had a similar experience.

Hochstedt was not involved in Friday’s settlement, and Young and other Harden accusers have for years urged New York lawmakers to pass the Adult Survivors Act.

Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) signed it into law in May.

The legislation allows people over 18 to sue their alleged abusers for a year from next month to November 2023, regardless of the statute of limitations.

“We let people know they have options and they matter,” Hoechstetter told The Post on Saturday. “It’s an important step in a battle we’ve been through for many, many years. But we’re not done yet.”

DiPietro says he wants hospitals Notice All Harden’s former patients have faith in him.

A spokesman for CUIMC did not immediately respond to a question from The Washington Post about a possible notice Saturday afternoon.

Young told The Washington Post that although it’s been two years since the CNN interview, she was surprised that some survivors only knew about Harden’s history From her story or from other women who share their stories.

“Why am I basically their only source of notification?” she said.

Meryl Kornfield and Allyson Chiu contributed to this report.

Source link