Beth Israel Hospital Not Responsible For Claimed Sexual Assault On Patient by Mammography Technician

On July 12, 2017, Justice Manuel J. Mendez, of the New York County Supreme Court agreed with Beth Israel Medical Center (BIMC) that it could not be held liable to a patient who claimed that she had been sexually assaulted by a radiology technician during the course of a bilateral mammogram. BIMC claimed it did not employ the technician and even if it did, it was not responsible for his sexual misconduct. The Court explained that: "A sexual assault by a hospital employee is committed for personal motives, unrelated to hospital business, and a departure from the scope of employment, eliminating vicarious liability for tortious acts." In order to prevail a plaintiff must show that the hospital had reason to know that the perpetrator/employee possessed those violent propensities based on prior conduct.

The Court granted dismissal of some claims against BIMC and deferred resolving others pending the completion of depositions. In the event that BIMC obtains complete dismissal of all claims, the plaintiff will likely be deprived of any recovery. Those found responsible for sexual assault cannot call upon an insurance company to pay the victim and typically are unable to satisfy a money judgment. 2017 WL 2998888

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