A woman who says she was a patient of Dr. Derrick Todd today sued both him and Brigham and Women's Hospital - him for alleged sexual molestation and harassment during and between exams, the hospital for not acting soon enough to stop what he was doing.
In her suit, filed today in Suffolk Superior Court, Marianne DiTrani said that Todd has "continued to contact and harass" her - as recently as Sept. 29 - even after the hospital fired him in July and he signed an agreement with the state Board of Registration of Medicine on Sept. 5 to stop practicing medicine pending its investigation into complaints about him.
A second woman filed a medical malpractice suit against Todd last month in Middlesex Superior Court. The judge in that case has impounded her complaint.
A lawyer for Todd, who was chief of clinical rheumatology at the Brigham’s Faulkner Hospital in Jamaica Plain, told the Globe he has done nothing wrong and will contest any charges.
In today's suit, which alleges injuries beyond medical mistakes, the woman said Todd texted her in November, 2022 to set up an appointment as she was looking for help with "multiple debilitating medical conditions for which she was desperate for relief."
She set up an appointment to see him at a Charles River Medical Associates office in Framingham, where, she charges, he quickly morphed a routine physical into something more:
Defendant Todd asked Plaintiff a series of inappropriate, invasive, and exploitive questions about her appearance, sexual history, and sexual activity. ...
Defendant Todd coerced Plaintiff to disrobe in front of him, alone in the examination room. Defendant Todd then, unbeknownst to Plaintiff, performed a medically unnecessary, unwarranted, non-indicated breast examination on Plaintiff. Upon reflection, the breast examination was done in a deviant and sexual manner wherein he grouped and fondles Plaintiff's breasts and nipples for his own prurient, deviant, sexual gratification.
And then, the complaint continues, he performed an equally unwarranted gynecological exam, to the point of penetrating her with a finger "in a sexual manner while continuing to make sexualized comments" to her - without the use of any of the equipment usually used in a gynecological exam.
Over the next few months, the complaint alleges, Todd had his patient come in frequently - early before his regular office hours, or late in the day, as his last patient - and always with similar types of mental and physical probing. Todd also began calling and texting her frequently, often daily and often outside of office hours, the complaint alleges.
Defendant Todd was aware of the cognitive dissonance that his patients - who he was sexually abusing - would experience with regard to their inability to come to grips with the unfathomable idea that their own medical doctor was sexually exploiting and abusing them.
And then, the complaint turns to Brigham and Women's, which began an internal investigation leading to his firing in July; the suit alleges that at least some of the complaints were made before Todd initiated contact with the woman last November.
The Brigham and Women's Defendants stood by silently as Defendant Todd sexually exploited and abused Plaintiff who reasonable believed Defendant Todd was conducting legitimate medical treatment while he was grooming, groping, fondling, penetrating, and sexually assaulting Plaintiff.
The suit formally charges Todd with negligence, battery and negligent infliction of emotional distress and the hospital with battery, negligent infliction of emotional distress, negligent hiring and supervision. It also charges the doctor, the hospital and Charles River Medical Associates with violating the Massachusetts Informed Consent Law by failing to notify her of his alleged treatment plan for her and so failing to get her consent for that plan.
The suit seeks damages for the pain and suffering Todd allegedly caused, as well as for the loss of future earnings and the need for additional medical services to deal with the problems he caused, as well as attorneys' fees.