By Laura French
A former Cumberland Hospital patient says she was repeatedly sexually assaulted by the hospital’s former medical director.
The 20-year-old Florida girl is one of 20 former patients listed in a $127 million lawsuit that was filed October 21. The law firm Breit Cantor filed the complaint against Dr. Daniel Davidow, the New Kent county facility, its parent company Universal Health Services and Herschel “Mickey” Harden, a former psychotherapist indicted in February on charges he sexually abused a former female patient. The complaint alleges sexual and physical abuse against patients and fraud.
CBS 6 traveled to Inverness, Florida and met KMJ as she’s listed in the lawsuit, at the Citrus County Courthouse.
“They’re responsible for sending me there.” KMJ said of the courthouse. “I felt very uncomfortable. I did not want to go.” KMJ suffers from multiple gastrointestinal issues among other health problems.
The week before her 17th birthday she says a custody dispute would ultimately get her admitted to Cumberland Hospital four states away.
“The judge didn’t know where to put me so she called Cumberland at a court hearing and said ‘I need to speak to Dr. Davidow now.’ She was talking to him on the phone and she quite literally begged him to take me,” KMJ recalled.
She arrived the morning of October 17, 2017, the exact same day the Virginia State Police launched an investigation into allegations of abuse and neglect against certain staff members.
She says she arrived at Cumberland for her admission and got greeted by medical director Davidow. Shortly after completing her paperwork, it was time for her physical exam.
“He started by lifting up my shirt and said I am looking at your tubes and then very suddenly started touching my breasts. He had me slide down my pants and he grabbed my underwear and pulled them down,” she explained. “I was obviously very tense because it was a very uncomfortable situation and he was like ‘just relax, just relax.” And he still did not have gloves on, he stuck his fingers inside of me and he claimed he was checking pulses to make sure they were okay.”
“He took a lot of innocence I still had as a teenage girl and he took my ability to function normal,” KMJ added.
KMJ and 11 other young women as young as 12 allege they were sexually abused by Davidow. The complaint claims, the pediatrician, who left the facility after a CBS 6 investigation into abuse claims in February, would “fraudulently” check a female patient’s femoral pulse and “place his hand beneath the minor patient’s undergarments and sexually abuse the minor patient by intentionally touching the minor patient’s intimate body parts.”
“Have you ever had a doctor check for your pulse internally?” asked CBS 6 Investigative Reporter Laura French.
“No, never,” KMJ responded.
But the suit claims it would happen again days later when Davidow asked staff members to transport KMJ, who was bound to her wheelchair, to the examination room.
“He said get up on the table and pull down your pants and I was like why? Why do why need to do that? I don’t have any medical reason you would need to be doing these because this had been probably less then a week since my admission date that he was doing this again,” said KMJ.
“What do you remember about that exam?” asked French.
Read more at: https://www.wtvr.com/news/problem-solvers/problem-solvers-investigations/ex-cumberland-hospital-patient-says-alleged-sexual-abuse-robbed-her-innocence