As a medical professional, there is not much worse situation than when a patient accuses you of medical misconduct. The only accusation that may be more detrimental is that of sexual misconduct. This is because such a claim may deteriorate your reputation inside and outside of the medical community. Read on to discover what happens if your patient accuses you of sexual misconduct and how one of the seasoned New York health care professional defense lawyers at Walker Medical Law can help you fight back on this claim.
What will happen if my patient reports me for sexual misconduct?
First of all, New York City Human Rights Law prohibits sexual harassment in all public accommodations, such as healthcare. Such sexual harassment may entail unwelcomed threats, intimidation, sexual gestures, derogatory comments, coercion, or violence.
With that being said, patients have the right to report any sexual misconduct or otherwise inappropriate sexual contact that they experienced from a medical professional. This will usually be initiated with a phone call from your patient, which will likely be taped by the District Attorney’s Office. This is why you must not admit guilt if you are innocent of what you are being accused of. Otherwise, you may expect any or all of the following actions to be placed against you:
- You may be investigated by the New York State Department of Health’s Office of Professional Medical Conduct or the Office of Professional Discipline.
- You may be summoned to disciplinary proceedings with your place of work or employers.
- You may be facing criminal prosecution and a civil lawsuit for assault.
What other consequences must I keep in mind?
If you have been accused of sexual misconduct, you may expect to lose out on more than just your medical license. That is, you may be facing the following criminal punishments:
- A prison sentence of up to one year or probation for up to six years.
- Fines of up to $10,000.
- Mandatory sex offender registration for up to 20 years.
- Mandatory community service hours.
- Mandatory continuing medical education hours.
What’s more, you may be sued for the following damages:
- Compensatory damages: with this, you may be subject to pay a certain dollar amount, to cover the costs the patient incurred from such inappropriate conduct.
- Punitive damages: with this, you may be subject to pay a certain dollar amount, to deter you from such inappropriate conduct in the future.
- Injunctive relief: with this, you may be subject to an order to undergo sexual harassment training or the like, to deter you from such inappropriate conduct in the future.
At the end of the day, if you are facing medical misconduct claims, you need one of the competent New York health care professional defense lawyers by your side. Contact Walker Medical Law to retain our services today.