Brigham and Women’s patient speaks out about suspected sexually abusive behavior from doctor
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Brigham and Women’s patient speaks out about suspected sexually abusive behavior from doctor

A former patient of Dr. Derrick Todd, who left Brigham and Women’s Hospital in July amid allegations that he conducted unnecessary breast and pelvic exams of women, filed a lawsuit against the physician in Suffolk Superior Court on Tuesday, alleging he “sexually exploited, abused, harassed, and molested” her under the guise of medical treatment, according to court records.


“This is the ultimate betrayal,” said her attorney, Brian Perkins, in a briefing Tuesday across the street across from the Brigham buildings in Boston’s Longwood Medical Area.


“You know — it’s a doctor,” she said, pausing. “He always had an answer. He’s very charming, very personable.”

She encouraged others to come forward if they believe they were victimized.


Mass. General Brigham, the health system that includes Brigham and Women’s, said Tuesday that it was reviewing the lawsuit.


On the first visit, Todd “began subjecting her to a course of predatory grooming, boundary violating, mental, emotional, and physical sexual abuse that was masked by his position of power and authority over Plaintiff in dire need of treatment,” the lawsuit alleges.

He allegedly asked her a series of “inappropriate, invasive, and exploitative questions” about her appearance and sexual history before having her disrobe while alone with him in an examination room, the complaint alleges.

Todd then “performed a medically unnecessary, unwarranted, non-indicated breast examination,” the complaint alleges.


Todd ultimately abused “countless female patients … in a serial fashion, while carrying out his deviant sexual desires,” the suit alleges.

It alleges the defendants “were aware of Todd’s proclivities to exploit and abuse female patients.”

“The Brigham and Women’s Defendants knew and/or should have known that Defendant Todd had a proclivity to abuse his patients, yet they ignored the warning signs, failed to supervise Defendant Todd, failed to properly train and supervise their staff, and violated the duties they owed to their patients,” the complaint alleges.

Last month, Todd voluntarily agreed to stop practicing medicine in Massachusetts and any other state, specifying that the agreement does not constitute an admission of wrongdoing.

“Dr. Todd has not seen the allegations in any lawsuit filed against him,” his lawyer, Ingrid Martin, said in a recent statement. “Over the course of his career he has been an outstanding rheumatologist and internist. To the extent that anyone is making a claim against him, Dr. Todd believes that he has done nothing wrong and will defend against it vigorously.”

Brigham and Women’s previously said it had first suspended Todd, who was chief of clinical rheumatology at Brigham’s Faulkner Hospital, and then “terminated” him on July 31 after an initial investigation that was prompted by complaints from two other physicians.

Brigham and Women’s notified the state Board of Registration in Medicine, which licenses and disciplines physicians, of Todd’s departure. The board did not comment on whether Todd is under investigation.

“After receiving two anonymous complaints about Dr. Derrick Todd, we immediately launched an investigation and then placed Dr. Todd on administrative leave once we learned more,” Dr. Charles Morris, the Brigham’s chief medical officer and senior vice president for medical affairs, said in a statement. “We made a decision to terminate his employment after the conclusion of that initial investigation.”

The Suffolk County District Attorney’s office and the Boston Police Department are also investigating allegations that Todd sexually assaulted multiple patients, according to a law enforcement official familiar with the case who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Todd also faces a medical malpractice lawsuit in Middlesex Superior Court that was filed on Sept. 29 against Brigham and Women’s and the Charles River Medical Associates in Framingham. The case files have been sealed by Judge Lynn C. Rooney pending a hearing on Oct. 17.

Full Story: BostonGlobe October 10 2023

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