More women join class-action lawsuit against Provo OB/GYN
On Feb. 15, four women came forward and filed a lawsuit in 4th District Court against Dr. David Broadbent, a Provo obstetrics and gynecology specialist, accusing him of sexual battery, sexual assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress. That number has now grown to 83.
The lawsuit also calls out Intermountain Healthcare (Utah Valley Hospital) and MountainStar Healthcare (Timpanogos Regional Hospital) as organizations that allowed Broadbent to carry out treatment of some patients, according to attorney Adam Sorenson of Gross & Rooney, who represents the female claimants.
Broadbent, Intermountain and MountainStar have all filed motions to dismiss the case, arguing that the charges are medical malpractice claims and pre-litigation procedures were not done correctly for a malpractice case.
In turn, Sorenson, on behalf of the claimants, has filed for a jury trial, noting in court documents the difference between malpractice and sex abuse.
“Sexual abuse is not health care. That is the beginning and end of the Motions, and the reason they should be denied,” Sorenson said. “Defendants, however, seek dismissal of the Amended Complaint, arguing that the Court lacks jurisdiction because Plaintiffs’ claims fall under the Utah Health Care Malpractice Act (‘UHCMA’), and Plaintiffs did not fulfill the conditions precedent to filing suit under the UHCMA.”
He continued: “But their arguments fail because the allegations and claims in the Amended Complaint relate to and arose out of sexual abuse, and sexual abuse is not health care. Sexual abuse is one of the most debase acts one human can perpetrate against another, and the UHCMA was not created to act as a shield behind which serial sexual abusers can hide–or behind which the facilities who profit from, and fail to stop, the abuser can hide.”
According to Sorenson, nurses witnessing Broadbent’s behavior have not been added as defendants in the lawsuit but will likely be deposed.
Lance Madigan, spokesperson for Utah Valley Hospital, said Broadbent no longer is allowed to work in the hospital.
“Dr. Broadbent is an independent physician and has never been an employee of Utah Valley Hospital. When the hospital learned of this lawsuit, Dr. Broadbent’s privileges to deliver babies or provide any other services at the hospital were immediately suspended. We take these allegations very seriously and are committed to ensure the safety of our patients,” he said.
In his court filing, Sorenson added, “For forty years, Broadbent sexually abused women and concealed that abuse under the guise of medical care. Those acts do not fall under the definition of ‘health care.'”
In documents filed on behalf of Broadbent by attorneys David and Scott Epperson of Epperson & Owens law offices, they note that, “As a mandatory condition-precedent to commencing litigation, Utah law requires those seeking to bring suit against a healthcare provider to file a notice of intent and participate in a non-binding pre-litigation hearing before the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing. Because Plaintiffs have not completed these steps, they are precluded from filling suit.”
The documents state, “the claims asserted in Plaintiffs against Defendant Dr. Broadbent constitute ‘a malpractice action against a healthcare provider’ as set forth in the Utah Healthcare Malpractice Act 78B-3-403(17) which states: ‘Malpractice action against a health care provider’ means any action against a health care provider, whether in contract, tort, breach of warranty, wrongful death, or otherwise, based upon alleged personal injuries relating to or arising out of health care rendered or which should have been rendered by the health care provider.”
Each defendant has hired their own legal counsel and in asking for dismissal note “Broadbent was performing under a sort of non-disclosed action.”
“The causes of action in Plaintiffs’ Amended Complaint arise out of events or transactions that occurred while Plaintiffs were receiving medical care and treatment from Dr. David Broadbent. It is alleged that Dr. Broadbent’s improper actions were concealed ‘under the guise of medically necessary care,’ according to MountainStar (Timpanogos Regional Medical Center),” court filings say.
In the case of Utah Valley Hospital, which is seeking dismissal of the suit, court documents say, “According to the Amended Complaint, Plaintiffs believed that Dr. Broadbent was providing them ‘normal’ or ‘medically necessary’ care at the time of their treatment. Plaintiffs allege that it was not until December 2021 that they realized Dr. Broadbent’s actions were not medically necessary. They allege that Dr. Broadbent was affiliated with Utah Valley Hospital and MountainStar Healthcare while treating Plaintiffs.
“Broadbent made material misrepresentations with the intent that they should be acted upon by Plaintiffs in that Plaintiffs should believe that his actions were proper, appropriate, and medically necessary and should not believe they had been sexually assaulted or that they should question his actions and should not be aware of a possible cause of action that they had against him and/or MountainStar or IHC. MountainStar and IHC knew the above referenced representations were false, or made them recklessly, knowing they had insufficient knowledge upon which to base such representations.”
Because of the number of plaintiffs added to the lawsuit, the cases have been divided into two groups — incidents that have happened in the past four years and incidents prior to four years ago.