Robert Hadden, a former gynecologist with Columbia University, was convicted in federal court in January of 2023 of molesting hundreds of patients throughout his career. According to court records, numerous women stepped forward to provide enough evidence to eradicate any doubt that he committed the crimes he was accused of. Throughout the case, Hadden did not deny that he sexually abused his patients. He has been sentenced to serve 20 years in prison for his crimes.
Hadden’s criminal streak caught the public’s attention back in 2020 when one of his alleged victims, Evelyn Yang, became a public figure. Yang’s husband, Andrew Yang, ran for president in 2020 and then for New York City mayor in 2022. Evelyn wasn’t afraid to speak out about the alleged abuse she suffered at the hands of Hadden when she was seven months pregnant.
Hadden was employed by Irving Medical Center and the New York-Presbyterian Hospital from 1993 to 2012. Throughout that time, it’s estimated that at least 6,500 patients were exposed to his unprofessional medical care.
Columbia and Columbia University Irving Medical Center have announced that they are giving all Hadden’s former patients that ability to apply for compensation from a $100 million settlement fund. The settlement fund will open and begin disbursing funds in January of 2024. Officials plan on keeping the fund open for former patients for at least one year. Former patients also have the option of suing under New York’s Adult Survivors Act by November 23, 2023.
Further, an independent investigation will be conducted to determine how Hadden was able to continue to get away with his behavior for so long. Columbia is committed to ensuring patient safety, so the failures must be addressed to establish patient safety in the future.
The University plans on sending all 6,500 former patients a direct notice regarding Hadden’s conviction and sentence. This notice will also inform patients about their right to seek compensation from the settlement fund or sue. Impacted victims won’t have the option of collecting compensation from both, but each person can make a decision on how they want to proceed with the situation.
If you’re not sure what your best option is moving forward, then it might be best to discuss what happened with an attorney. The right lawyer will help you make the best decision based on your specific circumstances.
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