A woman who was sexually assaulted while hospitalized at Virginia Mason Hospital is now suing the facility for failing to fire the physician who assaulted her.
According to the lawsuit, the Yakima hospital had already received sexual assault complaints about Dr. Albert Roman-Cabezas in December of 2017, but he was allowed to continue practicing without supervision.
This failure to act allowed Dr. Roman-Cabezas to retain his privileges throughout most of 2018, when he subjected the plaintiff to repeated unnecessary and invasive pelvic exams without gloves during her hospitalization. He was fired on November 19, 2018, after the plaintiff reported the incidents to the hospital.
Dr. Roman-Cabezas has now been charged with two counts of 2nd Degree Rape and two counts of Indecent Liberties by a Healthcare Provider. As the investigation continues, there have been additional reports of disturbing details that corroborate his behavior, including a YouTube channel in which he refers to himself as a “police rape doctor.”
Though a warrant has been issued for his arrest, Yakima Police were not able to apprehend the doctor before he fled the state.
Though the criminal investigation remains open while authorities search for Dr. Roman-Cabezas, the victim’s attorney, Bryan Smith, hopes this lawsuit against the hospital will help bring about necessary changes to hospital policies nationwide.
“Patients not only have a right to quality care, but a right to expect that hospital staff are not sexual predators. When a hospital knows an employee is a potential predator they must take steps to protect patients. That means investigating complaints, calling the police, removing privileges, and at a minimum supervising the perpetrator.
[Virginia Mason Hospital] did none of these things. As a result, Dr. Roman-Cabezas was allowed access to my client in the most vulnerable setting, where he sexually assaulted her.
By filing this lawsuit, my client is hopeful that changes will be made at this hospital and at hospitals throughout the country to ensure that patients are better protected from sexual predators.”
Anyone who has information about the whereabouts of Dr. Albert Roman-Cabezas is encouraged to contact law enforcement.
According to Smith, Washington state law holds employers responsible for employee negligence. If you or someone you know has been harmed by a medical professional at Virginia Mason Hospital or any other facility, contact Tamaki Law.
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