Takoma, WA, September 14, 2023 – Attorneys at Sanford Heisler Sharp LLP today filed two separate Federal Torts Claims Act (“FTCA”) administrative complaints against the United States Department of the Army and the Department of Defense (collectively “the Army”) on behalf of John Doe 1 and John Doe 2, two former patients of Dr. Michael Stockin – an Army doctor facing criminal charges for sexually abusing numerous patients.
John Doe 1 and John Doe 2 are represented in the matter by Christine Dunn and Carolin Guentert, Partners at Sanford Heisler Sharp LLP and Co-Chairs of the Criminal/Sexual Violence Practice Group.
The Federal Torts Claims Act is a federal statute that permits individuals to bring legal claims against federal agencies for torts committed by their employees. Prior to filing an FTCA complaint in court, the individual must first file an administrative complaint with the agency at fault. The agency is then afforded six months to investigate the claim. After that, the individual may file a lawsuit against the agency in federal court.
Today, Sanford Heisler Sharp took the first step in the FTCA legal process by filing administrative complaints against the Army on behalf of John Doe 1 and John Doe 2. Both complaints make nearly identical allegations. Specifically, the FTCA complaints allege that Dr. Stockin – an Army pain management doctor at Madigan Medical Center at Joint Base Lewis McChord in Washington – forced John Doe 1 and John Doe 2 to disrobe during their respective appointments. After the patients disrobed, Dr. Stockin, with bare hands and no chaperone present, fondled the patients’ genitals. Although Dr. Stockin committed the abuse under the guise of performing a medical exam, the administrative complaints allege that there was no medical necessity for Dr. Stockin to touch the patients’ genitals in this manner. The administrative complaint further alleges that the Army is liable under the FTCA because it was negligent in hiring, supervising and retaining Dr. Stockin and that the Army lacked adequate protocols to keep patients safe from sexual abuse.
On August 30, 2023, Army officials announced that the Army was bringing criminal charges against Dr. Stockin for sexually abusing at least 23 victims, including charges of abusive sexual contact and indecent viewing.
“My clients went to this doctor because they were in pain. They were in a vulnerable position, and they trusted this doctor. Dr. Stockin abused that trust,” said Dunn. “The Army had a duty to take reasonable measures to protect patients in its care. The fact that Dr. Stockin was able to abuse so many patients is compelling evidence that the Army was negligent in supervising Dr. Stockin.”
About Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP
Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP is a national public interest class-action litigation law firm with offices in Baltimore, New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Palo Alto, San Diego, Nashville, and Atlanta. Sanford Heisler Sharp focuses on employment discrimination, Title IX, wage and hour, whistleblower, criminal/sexual violence, and financial services matters. The firm has recovered over $1 billion for its clients through many verdicts and settlements. The National Law Journal recognized Sanford Heisler Sharp as 2021 Employment Rights Firm of the Year and 2021 Human Rights Firm of the Year.
If you experienced sexual abuse and are seeking counsel, please call 202-221-3152 or email [email protected]. Attorneys at Sanford Heisler Sharp would like to have the opportunity to help you.