Ensure that Doctors who Rape their Patients Face Justice
According to Laura, a Houston mother of two, she was raped by her doctor at Ben Taub Medical Center while in her hospital bed. She has been seeking justice ever since, but her fight has been stifled by a Texas law that often leaves survivors without recourse.
Texas’ “tort claims” law broadly immunizes government institutions like Ben Taub and other public hospitals, and caps municipality payouts at paltry sums. This means that survivors of sexual assault are left without meaningful recourse and institutions, which are almost entirely let off the hook in sexual assault cases, are unlikely to change their practices to prevent future atrocities.
Unlike other states, Texas law gives broad immunity to government institutions. This backward law shields public hospitals even when they put patients at risk by hiring someone with a history of predatory sexual assault allegations.
Please join Texas Watch in calling on Texas lawmakers to restore justice to survivors of medical sexual assault. Texas patients need the legislature's attention now.
In this case, Ben Taub knew of previous sexual assault allegations against Laura’s alleged rapist, but chose to put patients at risk by hiring him. Even after Laura reported her rape to officials, the doctor was allowed to work another seven months before he was eventually let go, and even then he was hired by another hospital. Because Texas law chooses to shield public hospitals from accountability, victims are likely never to collect enough to cover their very real pain and suffering.
Laura has paid a high cost. Her depression became too much for her husband. They later separated, and she may need intensive therapy for the rest of her life to conquer her trauma. This therapy costs money, and, if the laws don’t change, she will be left holding the tab.
No matter who they work for, perpetrators of sexual assault need to face punishment, and their victims deserve closure. With your help, we can tell Texas officials to do what is right and reform the laws that prevent survivors from seeking justice.
Sign our petition.
So-called tort "reform" laws are being used to deny survivors of sexual assault their constitutional right to civil accountability.
As reported by Houston Chronicle's Lisa Falkenberg [http://bit.ly/1kGRyE4], patients who are sexually assaulted in a public hospital can not seek meaningful justice thorough our state’s civil courts. Unlike other states, Texas law gives broad immunity to government institutions. This backward law shields public hospitals even when they put patients at risk by hiring someone with a history of predatory sexual assault allegations.
The pendulum has swung too far. It’s time to re-balance the scales with real legal reforms that protect Texans. Please restore justice for survivors of sexual assault by correcting this twisted, callous law.
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