$5.75 Million Sought in Sexual Abuse Lawsuit
PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) – Kaiser allowed a male nurse to sexually abuse female patients, four women claim in Multnomah County Circuit Court.
The four women, identified in the lawsuit as R.J., G.M., A.R. and W.D., sued Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Northwest, an Oregon corporation and Northwest Permanente, an Oregon corporation, for negligence and sexual abuse. The women seek damages ranging from $1 million to $2 million, a total of $5.75 million.
“At all times mentioned herein, defendants Northwest and Permanente knew or had reason to know that Alex Woolner, a nurse in their employ, had a propensity to be sexually aggressive toward patients, and to use his position, status and employment to exploit female patients for his own sexual gratification," the complaint states.
Alex Woolner is not a party to the lawsuit.
The alleged incidents took place during medical exams and procedures at Kaiser’s Beaverton Clinic, according to the lawsuit.
R.J. alleges Woolner “made sexually suggestive comments, questioned her about sexual matters, and pried for information that had no medical purpose.” He stuck an imaginary cotton swab in his ear and made sexual sounds and faces in what he called an “eargasm,” she claims.
G.M. says Woolner asked her to pull down the top of her dress for an injection in her hip. When she refused and merely lifted up her skirt, he pulled her underwear down lower than necessary, she says. After the injection, he “lifted the plaintiff’s panties up and over her rear, then lingered in the area, staring at a tattoo on plaintiff’s upper thigh, and then commented on the tattoo,” the complaint states.
A.R. claims during an immunization visit, Woolner, “questioned plaintiff about her clothing, including her bra, and upon learning that plaintiff was not wearing a shirt underneath her hooded sweatshirt, Woolner informed plaintiff that he was unable to locate any gowns that would fit her, and ordered plaintiff to take off her hooded sweatshirt, exposing her down to her bra.”
“Woolner told plaintiff she had ‘nothing to be ashamed about’ and noted that she was ‘much larger than an average woman,’ referring to her breasts; Woolner asked plaintiff if she had ‘expected to be naked in front of a stranger;’ Woolner asked plaintiff if she was married, and whether her husband commented on her breasts; Woolner asked plaintiff if she experienced any back pain due to the size of her breasts; Woolner told plaintiff he was ‘surprised’ that she had decided to wear a ‘fun bra,’ stating that ‘most girls who have large breasts tend to wear sports bras;’ Woolner told plaintiff that he paid his way through nursing school by being a nude model, and told plaintiff she would be a ‘good candidate’ for that; at one point during the injection, Woolner exposed a part of plaintiff’s areola and Woolner stared at plaintiff’s exposed breast, commenting, ‘You’re falling out,’” the complaint states.
Woolner then asked for A.R.’s email address, password and phone number and sent her three text messages about the topic of nude modeling, according to the complaint.
W.D. claims that Woolner questioned her about body piercings. When Woolner learned W.D. had nipple piercings, he shared explicit information with her about his penis piercing, telling her that it had caught on his clothing during an erection and that it had caught on his partner’s clitoral piercing during intercourse, W.D. says.
R.J., G.M., A.R. and W.D. are represented by Gregory Kafoury and Jason Kafoury and Mark McDougal of Kafoury & McDougal in Portland.