Doctors take a Hippocratic Oath when they sign up to treat ill patients. While the text has changed over the years, the general message is that the doctor will be ethical and do their best not to do harm. Sexually assaulting children not only breaks this oath but is criminal and unconscionable. Sadly it appears one NY doctor, Dr. Reginald Archibald (who is now deceased) did just this.
Former patients of Dr. Reginald Archibald have come forward and claim the doctor molested them as children at Rockefeller University Hospital in Albany, NY. The abuse went on allegedly for decades. These former patients and relatives of patients are now demanding to know what happened to photos the physician took while the abuse was occurring.
Dr. Reginald Archibald was supposed to help children who were not maturing like their peers. He was a top notch specialist in his field that parents and children trusted. Several patients have come forward claiming that sexual assault took place at these appointments. Some patients say the doctor took pictures of them while they were naked. They are angry and want to know what happened to those photos. They fear they are circulating as child pornography. Former patient Gail Coleman stated “Every single day that I don’t know anything about these pictures and where they are — I am being re-victimized.”
Accusers also believe The Rockefeller University Hospital knew about the abuse but covered it up or failed to act until recently. Former patients said they never heard anything from the hospital until officials there sent out a letter in October. The letter asked more than 1,000 of Archibald’s former patients for information about the sexual assault.
According to news reports, three additional people have come forward claiming Archibald recruited them for his “studies” at the Madison Square Boys’ Club, where they said he was the club’s doctor. The Boys and Girls Club said they’re investigating as well.
Attorney Neal Goldstein has been following this story as it develops and weighs in: “What was done to these kids is an atrocity. He robbed them of their trust, hope and dignity. He took advantage, abused his power as a physician and caused irreparable harm. The number of victims is alarming. Someone had to know. The hospital needs to be held accountable. At our firm we see first-hand the damage done to victims who have been sexually assaulted. We have handled similar cases and while it’s not something they will ever get over, we do feel compensation helps them gain some sort of justice. It may help pay bills for therapy, or activities that bring them joy and help them heal.”
Here at Goldstein and Bashner we have been retained by several of these victims. The goal at this point is to help them understand the current state of law and where it may go in the next few years to help them navigate through the legal maze. We are cautiously optimistic that the Child Victim Act will pass this year which will allow victims that were children when the sexual assault occurred to have much more time to bring a claim as an adult against the hospital. Had the abuser still been alive, that would be an option to sue your assaulter as well as the statue of limitations would be much longer if the bill passes.
If you have received a letter from Rockefeller University Hospital regarding sexual assault that occurred while being treated by Dr. Archibald or any other doctor please call our office. Before accepting any settlement offer (which could happen if the bill passes) you should always discuss it with legal counsel. We may be able to obtain a better offer. If the hospital is requesting more information about assault that may have occurred, you will also want to consult with an attorney before responding.
If you or a love one was sexually assaulted, please call our office for a confidential no cost consultation. We will be happy to answer any questions you have and help determine if you have a case.