A top rheumatologist has been sued by a former patient for conducting ‘unnecessary pelvic and breast exams’ where she was ‘sexually exploited, abused, harassed and molested’, a bombshell lawsuit claims.
Disturbing allegations have been made against Dr. Derrick Todd as well as his former employer, Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, where he allegedly sexually assaulted female patients.
Mimi DiTrani, who was a former patient of Todd, says in court documents he contacted her to say he’d been recommended to treat her.
‘I’m horrified. I went to him, he is a specialist in very rare autoimmune rheumatological conditions, which I have,’ she told CBS Boston.
She claims Todd performed repeat breast and vaginal exams as well as asked her a series of ‘invasive’ questions about her appearance, sexual history and sexual activity.
From their first appointment in November Todd ‘began subjecting her to a course of predatory grooming, boundary violating, mental, emotional, and physical sexual abuse that was masked by his position of power and authority,’ court papers filed in Suffolk Superior Court state.
She continued visiting him for appointments through to January at which point she changed to remote contact until she felt pressured to move to Massachusetts for more appointments in June and July.
‘I questioned it because I thought maybe I imagined it, it’s a doctor,’ she said in a news conference.
‘When you trust someone to help you, you see them and you’re very vulnerable, and when they violate that trust, and they hurt you instead of heal you, it can be very frightening and not easy to process.
‘I had a hunch. Why did I go back? But that’s why I want to say “it’s not your fault” – these people know what they’re doing.’
DiTrani is not alone – at least 32 women have sought legal advice, with two already filing lawsuits, as the Boston-based doctor is accused of performing ‘not medically necessary’ exams on his patients.
Attorney Drew Meyer of Lubin & Meyer says his firm is representing at least 30 former patients and they are considering a class action.
‘We have been inundated with phone calls. He wanted to know about their sex lives, he wanted to know in detail about what happened with their husbands or their sex lives,’ he said.
Todd was trusted as a medical professional and he exploited women for his personal gain, lawyers [of firms Peiffer Wolf and Lubin & Meyer] for the women claim.
‘The abuse and the manipulation exercised by Dr. Todd was horrific, was in fact extraordinarily creepy,’ Meyers said.
‘He convinced patients that he could handle their genealogical examinations, that he could handle their breast examinations – this is a rheumatologist, he shouldn’t be anywhere near that area.’
In a statement, Charles Morris, Chief Medical Officer at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, told DailyMail.com Todd’s conduct was investigated following two complaints and was fired in July this year.
‘We deeply regret the harm Dr. Todd’s actions has caused our patients and their families.
‘We take our duty to care for our patients and keep them safe extremely seriously. We have, and always will, act decisively on any allegations of misconduct, as we did in this case.
‘We began an internal investigation immediately after we received two anonymous complaints about Dr. Todd. He was then placed on administrative leave once we learned more and, upon completion of that initial investigation, we made a decision to terminate him.
‘We notified the Department of Public Health and the Board of Registration in Medicine and then contacted law enforcement.
‘We also reached out to his current and former patients to speak with them about the care they received and to connect them to additional services.
‘Right now, our focus is on our patients and caring for all of their needs, with the hope of ultimately restoring their trust in health care.’
As he’s investigated by the state, Dr. Todd signed a voluntary waiver agreeing not to practice medicine in Massachusetts or any other state.
His attorney, Ingrid S. Martin, said her client denies any wrongdoing.
‘To the extent that anyone is bringing claims against him, Dr. Todd believes that he has done nothing wrong and will defend against such claims vigorously,’ she said.
‘We are cooperating fully with any investigation by the Board of Registration in Medicine.’
Source: DailyMail October 11 2023