Your Charleston personal injury attorneys read yesterday that the Mid-Town Atlanta dental practice that employed a nurse anesthetist sentenced to life plus 25 years in prison for sexually assaulting sedated and unconscious patients now faces a pair of civil lawsuits. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the suits were filed by the parents of a 15-year-old girl and the other by an adult patient. The suits, filed in Fulton County state court, assert that the sexual assaults could have been prevented if the anesthetist had not been left alone with the patients and if the dental practice had taken proper steps to ensure the patients' safety while they were sedated. Further, the suits state the patients faced "an unreasonable risk" of harm.
According to the minor's suit, she arrived at the Marietta dental practice on July 29, 2009 for extensive surgery, left alone with the anesthetist and administered anesthesia, rendering her "unconscious, defenseless and completely dependent" on the anesthetist behind closed doors. The suit states the anesthetist lifted the minor's clothing and proceeded to record himself sexually assaulting the teen in her incapacitated state. Also according to the lawsuit, the 15-year-old, since the 2009 attack, "has suffered, and will continue to suffer for the rest of her life, physical and emotional injuries." Just three months earlier a similar such attack occurred at the same Marietta dental practice, according to the second lawsuit. The above-mentioned adult patient was awaiting surgery on April 29, 2009, and, again, was sedated, assaulted and videotaped while unconscious in the anesthetist's care.
Four months after the sexual assault on the teen (November 18, 2009), the anesthetist was arrested after a female visiting the dental practice discovered the anesthetist's cell phone attached beneath the bathroom sink with the phone's camera directed at the commode. Upon the phone's finding, police searched the device and found multiple images of women in the restroom. During his criminal trial, prosecutors described the anesthetist as a serial pervert who assaulted a total of 19 patients, including one during childbirth. To note, the anesthetist also worked at a Cobb Hospital. In addition, secret videotapes were discovered by authorities of women in the bathroom of his Marietta home. In an April 2011 bench trial, the anesthetist was found guilty on 34 charges that included sexual assault of a person in custody, aggravated sodomy, aggravated child molestation, and unlawful surveillance. In November he was sentenced to the aforementioned prison term and will not be eligible for parole for 55 years. Also at the bench trial, the anesthetist's criminal defense attorneys, at the request of their client, offered no defense and called no witnesses.
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