TAKOMA, Wash., Nov. 13, 2023 (GlobeNewswire) — Attorneys at Sanford Heisler Sharp today filed five new 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 five John Does, all of whom are former patients of Dr. Michael Stockin – an Army doctor facing criminal charges for the sexual abuse of numerous patients. Sanford Heisler Sharp previously filed two separate FTCA complaints on September 14, 2023 on behalf of John Doe 1 and John Doe 2, also former patients of Dr. Stockin.
All John Does are represented in the matter by Christine Dunn and Carolin Guentert, Partners at Sanford Heisler Sharp and Co-Chairs of the firm’s Sexual Violence, Title IX and Victims’ Rights Practice Group and Jillian Seymour, Litigation Fellow.
The Federal Torts Claims Act is a federal statute that permits individuals to bring legal claims against federal agencies for torts committed by agency personnel. 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 has initiated the FTCA legal process for five additional clients by filing administrative complaints against the Army. The firm currently represents a total of seven former patients of Dr. Stockin. The five complaints filed today on behalf of John Does 3 through 7 include remarkably similar allegations to those made by John Doe 1 and John Doe 2, whose administrative complaints are now under investigation by the Army. Specifically, the five new FTCA complaints allege that Dr. Stockin – an Army pain management doctor at Madigan Medical Center at Joint Base Lewis McChord in Washington – forced John Does 3 through 7 to disrobe during their respective appointments. After the patients disrobed, Dr. Stockin, with 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 complaints further allege 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. On October 17, 2023, similar charges were added for 17 additional victims of Dr. Stockin. Some experts believe this case has the potential to become one of the largest sexual assault cases in military history.
“I have talked to patient after patient who all tell remarkably similar stories about how they were sexually violated by Dr. Stockin. These soldiers thought they could trust a U.S. Army doctor but he abused that trust in the most egregious way,” said Dunn. “The massive scope of the sexual abuse indicates that the Army was negligent in supervising Dr. Stockin. The five complaints we filed today present powerful allegations of a pattern of neglect by the Army.”
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.
For more information, contact Jamie Moss, newsPRos, at 201-788-0142 or [email protected].