May 25, 2023
In January 2023, Dr. Robert Hadden, a former Columbia University gynecologist, was convicted on four counts for sexually abusing women. The sexual abuse survivors were patients of Dr. Hadden and included a minor and two pregnant women.
Dr. Hadden currently faces a lifelong prison sentence. The criminal conviction against the former Columbia University doctor represents one form of justice for countless survivors of sexual abuse. However, with the passage of New York’s Adult Survivors Act, victims now have a limited window to also secure civil justice for past crimes – even those which occurred decades ago.
In May 2022, Governor Kathy Hochul signed the New York Adult Survivors Act (S.66A/A.648A). As a result, a one-year lookback window was created for survivors of sexual assault/abuse that occurred when they were over the age of 18. The lookback window allows survivors of New York sexual assault to sue their abusers – regardless of how long ago the crimes occurred.
“Today, we take an important step in empowering survivors across New York to use their voices and hold their abusers accountable,” Governor Hochul said upon signing the Adult Survivors Act into law. “The fight against sexual assault requires us to recognize the impact of trauma within our justice system. I am proud to sign this legislation, which is part of our collective responsibility to protect one another and create an environment that makes survivors feel safe. While our work is not done, eradicating sexual assault begins with our ability to bring the perpetrators of these heinous acts to justice and this legislation is a historic step forward,” she added.
New York adult survivors of sexual assault, abuse, and harassment are able to file civil claims for financial damages from:
Although New York extended the statute of limitations to 20 years for adults filing civil lawsuits for a select number of sex crimes in 2019, the legislation only applied to new cases (i.e. it was not retroactive). As a result, many survivors of sexual assault were unable to pursue civil justice for past crimes.
Dr. Robert Hadden is a former Columbia University gynecologist who is believed to have sexually abused countless patients for decades – beginning as early as 1993. However, he has only been criminally convicted twice of sex crimes:
In 2016, Dr. Hadden agreed to a plea deal with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. Despite several allegations of widespread sexual abuse against patients, Dr. Hadden received no jail time and was actually placed on the lowest tier of the state’s sex offender list. As a result, many more patients are believed to have been sexually abused between 2016 and his eventual criminal conviction in 2023.
The following medical institutions have been affiliated with Dr. Robert Hadden (and hit with civil sexual abuse lawsuits):
Relative to the 2021 settlement, the New York Post reported the following:
“Two Manhattan hospitals affiliated with Columbia University reached a $71.5 million settlement with dozens of women that were molested by gynecologist Robert Hadden Wednesday, an agreement that one victim said will help her ‘move on.'”
Relative to the 2022 settlement, Columbia University released the following statement:
“The agreement announced today establishes a compensation fund of $165,081,000 to be distributed among the women under the direction of an independent special master jointly selected by the parties. It follows a similar settlement announced in December of last year between CUIMC and NYP and an initial group of 79 women who were also patients of Hadden.”
Columbia University and the various other medical institutions where Dr. Robert Hadden worked are believed to have been complicit in his sex crimes.
In fact, many of the previous sexual abuse claims against Dr. Hadden indicate that he was only able to commit such rampant sex crimes because these institutions continued to enable his behavior, thus shielding him from prosecution.
Hospital administrators were repeatedly alerted to claims of sexual abuse by countless patients, yet they failed to take any action against Dr. Robert Hadden.
Following Dr. Hadden’s 2016 criminal conviction, the New York State Office of Professional Medical Conduct (OPMC) mandated that Columbia University notify all of Hadden’s former patients that the gynecologist had officially lost his medical license.
However, it is believed that between 6,000 and 8,000 patients were never notified that they had appointments with a predator doctor. Rather, these hospitals claimed that it was actually Dr. Robert Hadden – a convicted sex offender – who was responsible for alerting patients to the fact that he was a dangerous sexual predator.
Evelyn Yang, wife of former presidential candidate Andrew Yang, is an example of one high-profile individual who was a former patient of Dr. Robert Hadden and has alleged sexual misconduct.
Victims of Dr. Robert Hadden currently have a limited window to file civil claims for financial compensation under New York’s Adult Survivors Act. To speak with a sexual abuse attorney for a free and confidential consultation, contact Dordulian Law Group (DLG) at 866-GO-SEE-SAM.
As one of the nation’s top-rated and proven sexual abuse firms, DLG is here to answer any question you have and aggressively pursue the justice you deserve.
DLG was founded by Sam Dordulian, a former sex crimes prosecutor in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. Dordulian began his career by securing life sentences against some of our community’s most dangerous sexual predators.
Today, Dordulian fights on behalf of sexual abuse survivors in civil court – working tirelessly to secure the maximum damages awards they deserve.
Dordulian is a member of the National Leadership Council for RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network). He created DLG to be a unique and specialized sexual abuse firm offering survivors 24/7 access to a four-tiered support network of sex crimes professionals:
DLG’s SAJE Team (Sexual Abuse Justice Experts) offers survivors peace of mind throughout the entire litigation process.
Our law firm in Glendale, CA advocates for victims of sexual assault, injury, employment disputes, and personal injury concerns.