Columbia University's Role in the Dr. Robert Hadden Lawsuit

How is Columbia University Involved in the Dr. Robert Hadden Lawsuit?

Columbia University faces criticism for its handling of sexual assault complaints against Dr. Robert Hadden, a former gynecologist at its affiliated hospitals.

Dr. Robert Hadden is a former OB/GYN who has been criminally convicted of multiple federal sexual crimes and has been named in civil lawsuits filed by hundreds of his former patients.

Hadden routinely conducted unwarranted and bogus medical examinations as a way to sexually abuse his patients.

He used his authority as a medical professional and the backing of prestigious Manhattan hospitals he worked for, including Columbia University, to abuse women and girls for decades.

Columbia University's Role in the Dr. Robert Hadden Lawsuit; Columbia University and Robert Hadden Sexual Abuse Lawsuit, Robert Hadden Lawsuit

Columbia University allowed Hadden to continue practicing medicine despite their knowledge of his sexual abuse and several reports submitted to their administrators.

Columbia University is being sued for negligence and failing to take appropriate action when it became aware of the allegations against Hadden.

The DiPietro Law Firm has already secured over $236 million for over 200 women in litigation targeting Columbia and the other parties who enabled Robert Hadden.

Contact us for a free and confidential consultation.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the involvement of Columbia University with Robert Hadden and how this powerful institution enabled a sexual predator to abuse his medical authority and victimize hundreds of women.

Table of Contents

History of Dr. Robert Hadden Sexually Abusing Patients

Robert Hadden sexually assaulted countless women and girls for decades.

Though his abuse flew under the radar due to Columbia University’s involvement, he has been investigated by numerous agencies including the U.S. Department of Justice.

Hadden sexually assaulted countless women in his care, including pregnant women and minors, from 1993 to 2012.

However, he could have began his abuse even earlier.

A formerly sealed indictment revealed Hadden’s abhorrent behavior, detailing multiple accounts of his crimes.

The sexual abuse mentioned in the indictment include the following:

  • He performed unnecessary medical examinations.
  • He extended medical appointments beyond reasonable limits.
  • He made sexual comments about the bodies of his victims.
  • He asked inappropriate sexual questions about the victims’ sex lives.
  • He gave unsolicited sexual advice.
  • He engaged in forcible touching, groping, and fondling during examinations.
  • He sometimes examined patients without gloves.
  • He performed needless mole and scoliosis checkups.
  • He digitally penetrated his victims without consent.
  • He inflicted unwarranted pain upon his victims.
  • He made unlawful oral contact with his patients’ private parts.
  • He performed medical procedures with no medical chaperones.
  • He leveraged birth control to entice patients into sexual encounters.
  • He lured women to cross state lines for promises of professional help.
  • He scheduled follow-up visits for medical procedures that weren’t essential.

Robert Hadden manipulated and exploited hundreds of women, inflicting extensive harm and trauma upon them.

Columbia University did nothing to stop this.

Timeline of the Robert Hadden Sexual Abuse Cases

Dr. Robert Hadden’s history of sexual misconduct and abuse spans decades, but it wasn’t until recently that his victims were able to seek justice through civil litigation.

Here is a brief timeline of events involving the civil lawsuits against Robert Hadden:

  • June 2012: A former patient went to the authorities to complain about Robert Hadden licking her private parts during a medical examination. Sadly, there was no immediate criminal action taken against him.
  • August 2012: Robert Hadden quit his practice after mounting complaints against him. Columbia University then mailed a “Dear Patient” letter to his patients stating that Hadden was closing his private practice and they could continue care with another “trusted” doctor.
  • June 2014: The Manhattan Supreme Court indicted the defamed doctor on six counts of sexual abuse, forcible touching, and criminal sex act.
  • 2016: Hadden pleaded guilty to two out of nine state charges in exchange for a plea deal with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. The New York State Court made him register as a sex offender but did not sentence him to prison time. Hadden voluntarily gave up his medical license at this time.
  • January 2020: Evelyn Yang, 2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang’s wife and Hadden’s former patient, publicly spoke out about surviving Hadden’s abuse in 2012. This brought more public attention to the severity of the case.
  • September 2020: Hadden was indicted on six charges of enticing and inducing victims to travel interstate and engage in illegal sexual activity.
  • December 2021: Columbia University and New York Presbyterian Hospital agree to pay $71.5 million in compensation to 79 women abused by Robert Hadden.
  • October 2022: Columbia University and New York Presbyterian Hospital agree to pay $165 million to 147 women.
  • January 24, 2023: Hadden was convicted of four of the six federal sex trafficking charges, with a total sentence of 80 years of prison time.
  • February 1, 2023: Victims and prosecutors pleaded for the arrest of the predatory physician while awaiting the sentencing of his federal charges on April 25. New York Judge Richard Berman granted this request and remanded Hadden to federal detention.

The Involvement of Columbia University and New York Presbyterian Hospital With Robert Hadden's Sexual Abuse

Robert Hadden began working for Columbia University Irving Medical Center, the New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and their affiliated hospitals in the early 1990s.

He also worked at the Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons as an Assistant Clinical Professor of OB-GYN.

What made Robert Hadden’s abuse even more disgusting was that he was not working alone.

Both Columbia University and New York Presbyterian Hospital knew of his vile behavior but chose to allow him to continue his practice.

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Complaints of Hadden’s Abuse Submitted to Columbia Were Ignored

The first known complaints or reports submitted to Columbia against Hadden for sexual misconduct date back to the early 90s.

A letter from the Columbia University OB-GYN chairman proved they knew of the situation but took no disciplinary action.

They allowed him to return to work without investigating the matter.

These institutions had an active role in covering up Hadden’s abuse and denying justice to his victims.

They remained silent and ignored multiple reports of his misconduct.

Hadden had connections to influential individuals at Columbia, saving him from punishment for his horrendous crimes.

Instead of investigating the complaints, these high-ranking individuals protected the institution’s reputation by stifling victims’ stories and allowing Hadden to continue practicing.

They let him see patients privately and moved him from one facility to another — even after he was arrested.

Columbia’s “Catch and Kill” Scheme

Columbia University also prevented many of Hadden’s victims from going to the police or speaking publicly about what they experienced through a “Catch and Kill” scheme.

Columbia University Sexual Abuse, Robert Hadden Sex Abuse Lawsuit

Instead of recommending Hadden’s former patients to proper authorities and aiding in a criminal investigation against the predator doctor, Columbia University directed patients to their legal team and paid them off to stay silent.

The payments made to survivors were contingent on the signature of an NDA to keep everything under wraps.

Columbia University tried to keep Hadden’s wrongdoings under the rug.

Rather than informing Hadden’s former patients of his arrest for sexual assault, they sent them a letter announcing that the criminal doctor chose to retire.

This cover-up was illegal and morally wrong, denying survivors justice and misleading them about the truth of the situation.

Columbia University Failed to Notify Patients of Hadden’s Sexual Abuse

When Hadden was convicted in 2016, the New York State Office of Professional Medical Conduct (OPMC) required that all of Hadden’s patients be informed that he gave up his medical license for sexual abuse.

However, the university exploited a loophole in the wording of the OPMC’s mandate, failed to notify patients, and maintained that it was Hadden’s responsibility to tell them.

Columbia University, Robert Hadden Sexual Abuse Lawsuit

To this day, Columbia University has failed to notify 6,000-8,000 women that Hadden sexually assaulted patients.

Columbia University has the patient records and the proven ability to send out a mass amount of letters.

It is also absurd of Columbia University to suggest that a convicted sexual predator should have access to his former patients’ medical records and contact information.

The massive cover-up of Hadden’s crimes directly reflects the Columbia University’s negligence and lack of consideration for their patient’s safety.

This inexcusable and unacceptable behavior has made them the number one target of lawsuits filed by Hadden’s victims.

Columbia University Will Pay the Price

In December 2021, the university agreed to pay $71.5 million to 79 survivors of Hadden’s sexual abuse.

They made another settlement of $165 million in October 2022 with 147 more victims, bringing the total settlement amount to over $236 million.

Robert Hadden Sexual Abuse Lawsuit, Dr Hadden Lawsuit Columbia University

Columbia University also released a statement acknowledging the university’s failure to protect patients from Hadden.

They thanked the:

“… persistent and courageous women who never stopped seeking justice.”

They said the settlements:

“… will hopefully reduce their [victims’] trauma, allow them to find some measure of closure, and put this horrific ordeal behind them.”

The settlements also required that the university make changes to ensure that victims of sexual abuse are protected in the future.

The university guaranteed they “have adopted policies to ensure they [patients] are protected and empowered while in our care.”

The DiPietro Law Firm has been leading the fight against Columbia and other organizations that enabled Robert Hadden, representing over 200 women so far.

We are now filing another round of lawsuits on behalf of Hadden’s victims.

New York Adult Survivors Act

The Robert Hadden sexual abuse cases were instrumental in pushing for enacting a new law called New York’s Adult Survivors Act in May 2022.

This legislation expands the statute of limitations for sexual abuse and gives victims more time to take legal action against their abusers.

New York Adult Survivors Act, Robert Hadden Lawsuit, Dr Hadden Lawsuit

Also known as the “look-back window,” this law opens up a one-year window from November 24, 2022, to November 24, 2023.

During this period, victims can file lawsuits against their abusers and organizations that enabled abuse, even if their cases are beyond the state’s previous statute of limitations.

How The DiPietro Law Firm Helps Hadden's Sexual Assault Victims

The DiPietro Law Firm is passionate about representing victims of sexual abuse and helping them pursue justice.

Our trauma-informed approach aims to make victims feel safe and respected while we work on their case.

Over a decade ago, our founder Anthony T. DiPietro decided to lead the fight against Hadden and Columbia University, and we have been relentlessly pursuing justice for victims ever since.

We have obtained over $236 million in settlements for Hadden’s victims and held the negligent institutions accountable.

We are committed to representing you and helping you fight for the compensation you deserve.

Our law firm provides a safe space for victims to feel comfortable coming forward, and we guarantee that all information is kept 100% confidential.

The DiPietro Law Firm Can Handle Your Case

If you or a loved one has been the victim of Robert Hadden’s sexual abuse, our experienced legal team will fight for your rights and seek justice.

We have extensive experience representing victims and fighting against the institutions that put women at risk.

We have helped hundreds of Hadden’s victims pursue justice over the years, and we would be honored to represent you as well.

We are here for you every step of the way.

Contact The DiPietro Law Firm for a Free Case Evaluation Today

You don’t have to face this alone.

The DiPietro Law Firm is here to help you pursue justice and receive the compensation you deserve.

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We offer a free, no-obligation consultation for any potential client.

Any inquiry made to our law firm is guaranteed complete confidentiality.

Contact us today to get started on your case.

Resources for Sexual Exploitation & Abuse Survivors

We’re currently investigating this case and many other cases involving serial sexual predators.

As more information becomes available on our cases, we will share it on the The DiPietro Law Firm Twitter account (@atdipietro).

If you’re a survivor of sexual exploitation and abuse, please contact our Free Consultation Helpline for a 100% confidential and free consultation about your case at (212) 233-3600.

You’re not alone anymore.

Somebody who sexually assaults patients under the guise of medical care DOES NOT deserve salutations.

Robert Hadden is not a doctor. Robert Hadden is a convicted sexual felon and is facing life in prison for the crimes he committed.

The only reason the DiPietro Law Firm uses “Dr. Robert Hadden” in some of our content is so that victims are able to find us when searching for help.

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Here, at The DiPietro Law Firm, we’re committed to helping victims of sexual abuse and assault find the justice they deserve.

All information discussed during our consultations always remains completely 100% confidential.

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About Anthony T. DiPietro

Founder Anthony T. DiPietro, Esq. is a compassionate and skilled trial attorney who has completely dedicated the past 23 years of his career to litigating medical malpractice and sexual abuse cases against major corporate institutions including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and other wrongdoers.

Mr. DiPietro has also obtained some of New York State’s highest verdicts and settlements, and has been selected to New York State Super Lawyers® each year, for the past 10 years in a row.

In 2022, Mr. DiPietro was selected as one of America’s Top 100 High-Stakes Litigators for the landmark cases he’s won on behalf of survivors of sexual exploitation and abuse.

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Do You
Have A Case?

Here, at The DiPietro Law Firm, we’re committed to helping victims of sexual abuse and assault find the justice they deserve.

All information discussed during our consultations always remains completely 100% confidential.

Would you like our help?

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