WASHINGTON, D.C. – Independent Women’s Law Center (IWLC) this week filed an amicus brief in the Utah Supreme Court in support of nearly 100 women suing David H. Broadbent, MD and Intermountain Healthcare, claiming that Dr. Broadbent sexually assaulted them during the course of medical exams.
The lawsuit accuses Broadbent of sexual battery, sexual assault, and intentional infliction of emotional distress and includes allegations from dozens of women that the OB-GYN squeezed and penetrated them in medically unnecessary ways in the course of routine exams. The women say Intermountain Healthcare took no action against Broadbent, despite complaints about his behavior.
In September 2023, a judge dismissed the lawsuit for lack of jurisdiction, determining the case should be filed as a medical malpractice case, not a sexual assault case.
IWLC argues that sexual assault is not health care under the Utah Health Care Malpractice Act (the “Malpractice Act”). Its brief details the serious problem of sexual abuse in the medical profession and highlights the ways insurers can (and do) protect themselves against liability for sexual assault claims. The brief also details the harm caused by sexual assault and explains that, because of such harm, claims of assault do not implicate the purposes for which the Malpractice Act was drafted.
Jennifer C. Braceras, director of Independent Women’s Law Center, said,
“Patients who are sexually assaulted by their doctors must be free to sue their abusers in court and should not be forced to seek compensation through the medical malpractice system.
“The notion that sexual assault is is health care gone awry is patently absurd. Sexual assault is not health care. It is the exact opposite, as it harms, rather than heals, the patient.”
The brief can be found HERE.