In a class action lawsuit, more than 60 women allege that a former Brigham and Women’s doctor sexually abused them.
The plaintiffs say, as patients of rheumatologist Derrick Todd, they underwent unnecessary medical exams, including breast, rectal and vaginal exams. They allege these exams were purely for Todd’s personal satisfaction.
The class action lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Suffolk Superior Court.
Some women have filed individual lawsuits against Todd. Marianne “Mimi” DiTrani filed an individual claim on Tuesday and her lawyers, Brian Perkins [of Peiffer Wolf] and Paula Bliss, said they will be filing more in the coming weeks and months.
“When you trust someone to help you … and they hurt you instead of heal you, it can be very frightening and not easy to process,” said DiTrani, at a news conference on Tuesday.
Todd’s lawyer, Ingrid Martin of the law firm Todd & Weld, did not respond to requests for comment. However, in a statement shared with other media outlets, Martin said, “to the extent that anyone is making a claim against him, Dr. Todd believes that he has done nothing wrong and will defend against it vigorously.”
Todd saw patients at multiple institutions, including Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital and Charles River Medical Associates in Framingham. According to the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Todd has been on administrative leave since June, and he resigned under threat of termination on July 31.
“We deeply regret the harm this has caused to our patients and their families,” said Charles Morris, chief medical officer and senior vice president of medical affairs at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in a statement.
“After receiving two anonymous complaints about Dr. Derrick Todd, we immediately launched an investigation and then placed Dr. Todd on administrative leave once we learned more,” Morris’ statement read. “We made a decision to terminate his employment after the conclusion of that initial investigation.”
Morris added the hospital has reached out to Todd’s patients with information and resources. Since it began notifying patients on Aug. 17, the hospital has contacted anyone who saw him since 2015. Hospital officials are now working to reach patients Todd saw before 2015, prior to the hospital’s electronic records.
Andrew Meyer of the Boston law firm Lubin & Meyer is the plaintiffs’ lawyer in the class action lawsuit. He said the hospital did not act quickly enough.
“There was evidence well before they finally heard from these anonymous sources reporting Dr. Todd’s conduct that would have put a stop to this conduct much earlier and would have protected many of these women,” said Meyer, noting his office has heard from women who say they were sexually assaulted as long as a decade ago.
Beyond Todd, the lawsuit also is against a number of other institutions and individuals that employed him, including Brigham and Women’s Hospital, as well as two medical groups he belonged to.
Since patients started being notified in recent weeks, Meyer said, his office heard from many women who want to join the class action lawsuit or file separate, individual lawsuits. At least two women have launched individual complaints against Todd.
Meyer estimated that Todd saw several thousand patients over the course of his career.
“We were on the phone taking calls until 10 o’clock last night,” Meyer said. “Our phone has been ringing incessantly.”
Source: WBUR October 12 2023