LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Three women filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday accusing both a longtime Pasadena OB/GYN of sexual misconduct, and the hospital he works at for trying to cover it up.
The complaint, which was filed by three unidentified women in federal court in Los Angeles, alleges Dr. Patrick Sutton sexually abused and harassed them. It claims that Huntington Memorial Hospital has received numerous complaints about Sutton dating back 20 years, but has done nothing to address the behavior.
The 64-year-old Sutton, who has been practicing at Huntington since 1985, could not immediately be reached for comment.
“Huntington Hospital takes seriously all issues of patient health and safety,” said Eileen Neuwirth, executive director, communications Huntington Hospital, in a statement Wednesday. “We are currently in the process of reviewing this matter and have no comment on this litigation.”
On Sept. 28, the Medical Board of California filed an accusation against Sutton for allegedly making inappropriate sexual comments to a female patient.
The allegation marked the fifth time Sutton has been accused of sexual misconduct going back 20 years, according to a review by the Los Angeles Times of court records and medical board files.
As a result of the complaint, Sutton is facing the possible loss or suspension of his medical license.
Huntington Hospital announced last week that Sutton no longer had a leadership role at the hospital and will have a chaperone when treating women in the maternity ward, according to the Times. Sutton had served as chair-elect of the obstetrics and gynecology department, according to the Times.
A hospital spokeswoman also told the newspaper that Sutton has been removed from the list of doctors who are on call to deliver babies at the hospital.
Wednesday’s lawsuit alleges that Huntington Hospital routinely disregarded complaints about Sutton’s behavior, complaints that date back to the 1990s, actively and deliberately concealing Sutton’s sexual abuse and continuing to grant him uncontrolled sexual access to female patients at the hospital, all to protect the hospital’s reputation and income stream.
Sutton is facing the possible loss or suspension of his medical license following an accusation by state regulators that he made inappropriate comments about a patient’s appearance and sex life.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)