After a nearly month-long trial handled by Kafoury & McDougal in The Dalles, Oregon, a Wasco County jury returned a verdict of $2.4 million for three women who were sexually molested during surgery at Mid-Columbia Medical Center. Anesthesiologist Frederick Field was sentenced in 2012 to 23 years in prison for molesting a dozen women while they were in varying states of consciousness after having been sedated (19 total victims came forward). Field concealed his crimes behind a standard surgical screen, often placing a female patient’s hand on his genitals, offering them reassuring words whenever he detected signs of struggle or resistance.
The jury unanimously found the hospital liable for negligence and battery. The key allegations were that hospital officials told the women who complained about Field that they had been imagining things, then concealed documentary evidence and made false and misleading statements to police once an investigation began, all in order to avoid scandal and liability for the hospital.