Robert Hadden accuser seeks third-party investigation at Columbia: suit

An accuser of convicted sex offender and ex-doctor Robert Hadden filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against his former employers — Columbia University and New York Presbyterian Hospital — seeking a court-appointed monitor to oversee sexual abuse complaints at the institutions. 

The alleged victim, who filed the Manhattan federal suit under the pseudonym Jane Doe, claims she was abused by Hadden beginning in 1999 — years after Columbia had first been made aware that the gynecologist was accused of sexual assault by a patient in 1994.

“Defendants Columbia University and The New York and Presbyterian Hospital are responsible for the sexual abuse of an unimaginable number of women at the hands of Robert Hadden … and for the devastating, lifelong impact of such abuse,” the suit states. 

“The Columbia/NYPH Defendants knowingly employed a serial sexual offender and allowed him to inflict his criminal sexual abuse on his patients for decades, Plaintiff Jane Doe among them,” it adds. 

In addition to monetary damages and a jury trial, the accuser is asking the court to appoint a monitor to oversee a third-party investigation and related report about the hospital’s handling of sexual abuse complaints about Hadden. 

Dr. Robert Hadden has pleaded not guilty for allegedly abusing eight patients.
Steven Hirsch

The monitor would “ensure that all patient and employee complaints of sexual misconduct by physicians and other employees is handled pursuant to strict guidelines and best practices,” the suit states. 

Hadden has pleaded not guilty to federal charges in Manhattan for allegedly abusing eight patients over a number of years beginning in the 1990s. 

He’s scheduled to go on trial at the beginning of 2023. 

One victim alleges Dr. Hadden abused her years after Columbia had first been made aware that the gynecologist was accused of sexual assault by a patient.

New York Presbyterian Hospital.
The accuser is seeking a court-appointed monitor to oversee sexual abuse complaints at New York Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia. 

The federal case followed a widely panned no-jail plea deal Hadden struck with Manhattan state prosecutors in 2016 that allowed him to cop to just two charges — criminal sexual act and forcible touching — after he was accused of abusing six patients.

The disgraced doc allegedly abused dozens of women beginning in the early 1990s while he worked at Columbia and NY-Presbyterian Hospitals.

One of his accusers is Evelyn Yang, the wife of former presidential candidate Andrew Yang, who said Hadden abused her at visits while she was pregnant.

Robert Hadden.
One victim alleges Hadden abused her at visits while she was pregnant.
Steven Hirsch

In a statement Wednesday, David E. Gottlieb, of Wigdor LLP, which represents Doe, said Columbia and NY-Presbyterian violated legal and ethical responsibilities by employing Hadden. 

“As a result of the Adult Survivors Act, survivors like Jane Doe can finally seek justice against those who not only committed criminal sexual acts but institutions that condoned, enabled and allowed this conduct,” Gottlieb said.

“Columbia/NY-Presbyterian’s violations of their legal, ethical and medical responsibilities must be condemned in the strongest possible terms,” he added.

The hospitals did not immediately return requests for comment Wednesday.

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