Columbia University agrees to $71 million sexual abuse settlement
Columbia University announced a settlement Wednesday with dozens of women who say their former gynecologist, Robert Hadden, sexually abused them while he was their doctor. The $71.5 million settlement was reached with 79 women.
Claims by dozens of other patients have not been settled.
In 2014, New York State prosecutors filed criminal charges against Hadden for sexual assault involving six women. In 2016, he agreed to plead guilty to two individual counts of a criminal sex act in the third degree and forcible touching. The plea deal included no jail time and a downgrade in sex-offender status to the lowest level — meaning he is not listed in New York State’s online sex offender registry.
In September 2020, federal prosecutors unveiled new charges in six cases in which patients traveled between states for their appointments with him, but prosecutors alleged in the indictment that Hadden also assaulted “dozens of female patients, including multiple minors” between 1993 and 2012. Hadden has not been charged in connection with those other patients.
Federal prosecutors added a new count in July. Each of the seven counts carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Federal prosecutors said that Hadden assaulted victims over the course of nearly two decades “under the guise of conducting purported gynecological and obstetric examinations.”
Hadden entered a not guilty plea to all charges in the case.
The allegations against Hadden received renewed attention last year after Evelyn Yang, whose husband Andrew sought the Democratic nomination for president, said in an interview with CNN that Hadden had assaulted her.
TriMark Legal Funding provides non-recourse pre-settlement and post-settlement sexual abuse lawsuit funding and cash advances on Catholic church sexual abuse cases for injured plaintiffs nationwide.
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