A North Shore cardiologist who’s already facing a criminal charge of sexual assault involving a female coworker is now the target of a civil lawsuit involving the same woman, 25 Investigates has learned.
The civil suit, filed Tuesday in Middlesex Superior Court, accuses Bhagwan D. Gupta, 67, of Swampscott of sexually assaulting a coworker the morning of October 6th as she was preparing for patients in the cardiac lab at North Shore Medical Center Union Hospital.
The suit claims Gupta grabbed the woman’s breasts and “forcefully groped (her) several times.”
Boston 25 News is not naming the woman due to the nature of the allegations.
North Shore doctor now target of civil suit after #25Investigates reported criminal charge re: sexual assault of female coworker. Update to our first report tonight at 6:30pm @boston25 https://t.co/6O6kolzBNv— Eric Rasmussen (@Eric_Rasmussen) December 5, 2017
Gupta has a private practice in Lynnfield and is associated with North Shore Medical Center Union Hospital in Lynn, which is part of the Partners HealthCare system.
When 25 Investigates first reported on the criminal charge surrounding the same incident, the hospital e-mailed a statement:
“Upon learning of the complaint, we took immediate action to prevent the physician from any further practice at our facilities while the investigation is under way,” a hospital spokeswoman said. “Outside of recent claims, there have been no similar complaints involving this physician made by any of our patients or employees.”
While the hospital is not a named defendant, the civil suit disputes the statement that the hospital took “immediate action” and instead claims Gupta was allowed to continue working and seeing patients in the days after the hospital learned of the incident.
“Something should have been done immediately to protect patients and other female workers at this hospital,” said the plaintiff’s attorney, Stephen Lyons.
“There is no excuse for putting profit or the revenue that Dr. Gupta brings into the hospital ahead of the safety patients and female coworkers,” said Lyons.
The civil lawsuit, which doesn’t request a specific dollar amount in damages, references a second unnamed female coworker who says she was also the victim of sexual assault by Dr. Gupta.
According to the lawsuit, Gupta “had walked up to her and touched or stroked the co-worker’s breasts in a similar fashion on at least 2 occasions.”
After learning of the criminal charge against Gupta last week, the doctor’s lawyer, John P. Morris, called 25 Investigates on behalf of his client to deny the charge against him and make a number of accusations against the victim.
“The woman working at Union Hospital who made the allegations has mental health issues,” said Morris, pointing to a detail in the police report that she has a therapist. “Dr. Gupta vehemently denies what these allegations are. The allegations have been exaggerated from what she told human resources. Dr. Gupta is an upstanding cardiologist. He’s never had any complaints against him. He vehemently denies anything that happened between him and this woman.”
Those comments from Morris are now included as part of a defamation charge in the new civil suit.
“That decision to attempt to smear her name in order to divert public attention from his wrongdoing only exacerbated the gravity of the harm that he has caused in this case,” said Lyons.
Morris did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the civil lawsuit.
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