STANFORD (KRON) — Stanford Health Care has been hit with several lawsuits related to the sexual abuse of sedated male patients.
KRON4’s Maureen Kelly reports that the the abuse happened at the hands of a now jailed anesthesia technician, but the attorneys for the plaintiffs allege hospital management should have done more to stop him.
“I sent my son to this reputable institution and thinking that he was going to get the best care possible, and I sent him into the lion’s den,” said the victim’s mother, who did not reveal her name.
Sixteen-year-old Robert Doe, whose name has been changed, was fondled by anesthesia technician Robert Lastinger while knocked out for a routine surgery.
Lastinger pleaded no contest to four counts of sexual battery in relation to abuse of the 16-year-old and three other male patients between March and Apr. 2015, all under similar circumstances.
It all happened at Stanford Hospital’s Outpatient Surgery Center in Redwood City.
“We all know the consequences of being a victim of sexual abuse can be profound,” the victim’s attorney Paul Matiasic said. “They can be lifelong. They can be searing.”
Matiasic is representing the minor, as well as one other victim now suing Stanford.
The victim’s attorney said Lastinger’s predatory behavior went unreported for years, and Stanford health care let it happen.
“The nurses, the assistants were so intimated about losing their jobs, about losing their livehood, that they did not report the abuse of minors and other patients who were actually under anesthesia,” Matiasic said.
Attorney Angela Alioto is representing George Baez, a now former Stanford Health Care employee, who said he was one of the people who did come forward after hearing what Lastinger was up to and was laid off one year later.
He believes that was in retaliation for being a whistleblower.
“It’s a place I thought I’d be…forever,” Baez said. “I thought that I would retire from that place, and I thought I was doing the right thing.”
A spokesperson for Stanford Health Care said any claim that it knew that Robert Lastinger was a predator and did nothing is false.
Stanford Health Care maintains as soon as it learned of the inappropriate conduct by their technician, they removed him, launched an investigation, and contacted local authorities.
They also said that Baez’s termination has nothing to do with his minor involvement with any investigation.