Columbia University Irving Medical Center and New York Presbyterian have agreed to pay a combined total of over $165 million to 147 women who came forward alleging that they were sexually abused while under the care of disgraced former gynecologist Robert Hadden. Hadden was convicted of sex-related charges in 2016 in New York state court but served no prison time as a result. Federal charges are still pending over allegations that he sexually abused dozens of patients over the course of 20 years, most of them young. Hadden, described by prosecutors as a “predator in a white coat,” is also charged with inciting others to travel in order to engage in illegal sexual activity.
Among those who came forward to stop Hadden was Evelyn Yang, wife of 2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang. In a statement in 2020, Yang accused Hadden of abusing her while she was under his care in 2012.
Columbia University Irving Medical Center addressed the settlement by praising those that came forward to put an end to Hadden’s activities. In a statement released after the settlement was announced, the hospital said “we deeply regret the pain that Robert Hadden’s patients suffered and hope that these resolutions will provide some measure of support for the women he hurt. All those who came forward should be commended.”
Hadden is not the only gynecologist who has faced charges and allegations of sexual misconduct in recent times. In 2020, the University of California settled with seven women who came forward accusing a university gynecologist of sexual abuse. James Heaps had been under investigation by the university since 2017 but the school did not publicly acknowledge that investigation until 2019. Heaps was arrested in June of that year and as news spread, over 200 women came forward with allegations against him.