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Jury gives justice to sex abuse victim – while hospital pretends it never happened: Part II

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For the background on this sexual abuse case and trial, see Part I.


Denying and Defending

Field’s abuses were not a secret in his four years at Mid-Columbia Medical Center.

D’Amore Law Group represented several women that MCMC allowed Field to sexually assault. We counted at least 20 people in hospital staff and administration who admitted to knowing or at least suspecting his behavior.

L was not the first victim to file a lawsuit. Several women have won verdicts against Field and MCMC. Several others have settled out of court.

MCMC refused to even attempt to settle L’s case, and spare her the pain and humiliation of a public trial.

The Dalles is a small, close-knit city of around 15,000 people in Wasco County, Oregon. Several of the victims live there.

In a public courtroom, in her hometown, L faced very personal attacks by MCMC and their lawyers. They asked degrading questions and tried to humiliate L and the other victims who came to trial to testify on her behalf.

In 2012, Field pleaded guilty to 11 counts of first-degree sexual abuse and 1 count of first-degree rape. He is serving a 23-year jail sentence.

Yet, they refused to admit that any sexual assault, of any woman, had actually occurred.

MCMC’s lawyers proceeded to defend the hospital administration’s inexcusable “investigations” and incredibly incompetent handling of victim complaints.

MCMC acknowledged ­that Field had pleaded guilty, and was convicted.

They defended the very actions that had exposed all of these women to a dangerous sexual predator.

It was a shameful display by the hospital and their attorneys.

Jury sends a message to the hospital

Last week, at the end of L’s month-long trial against MCMC, the Wasco County, Oregon, jury came to a decision.

The jury concluded that the hospital was negligent. The hospital’s behavior was so offensive, and the hospital administration had failed so badly, that jurors felt an additional punishment was warranted.

The jury found by “clear and convincing evidence” that the hospital acted with a reckless, outrageous, and conscious indifference to the health, safety and welfare of others.

The jurors awarded $800,000 in compensatory damages, and another $150,000 in punitive damages – basically, a fine meant to punish the hospital.

With this verdict, the jury sent a message to the hospital administration: you are responsible for patient safety, and the hospital administration has failed miserably in protecting patients.

Sex abusers often seek out victims where they are most vulnerable—in places like hospitals. It is the hospital’s job to safeguard against this abuse.

Yet, the hospital boldly asserted at trial that it has not changed its procedures. No one has been fired. No one has been punished.

This verdict was intended to send a message to MCMC.

We hope that it will cause the hospital’s Board of Directors to reevaluate the administration and their commitment to public safety.

Let’s hope MCMC gets the message.


L was represented at trial by Attorneys Tom D’Amore and Nick Kahl of D’Amore Law Group.

See news and articles about the sexual abuse lawsuit and trial.

Questions or inquiries: please contact the firm at 503-222-6333.


1 Comment

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  1. Mike Bryant says:
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    Justice and making sure they are held accountable requires this type of fight sometimes. Great work.