Universal Health Services: First Trial Scheduled in $387M Lawsuit against Cumberland Hospital, Filed by 46 Former Patients

August 1, 2023

Some former Cumberland Children’s Hospital patients are one step closer to having their date in court in a $387,000,000 lawsuit against the facility, its owner Universal Health Services (UHS), UHS of Delaware (UHS-D), and former medical director Dr. Daniel Davidow.

The first multi-million-dollar lawsuit was filed in the case in October 2020 over allegations of abuse and neglect against patients by certain staff members at the facility that treats medically complex children.

Amid more allegations of abuse at the New Kent County facility, the first civil trial has been set for September 9 thru September 27, 2024.

The plaintiffs, represented by the law firm Breit Biniazan, are asking the court to group the case by close to a dozen alleged victims at a time but the defendants want the case heard on a case-by-case basis.

A judge is expected to rule on that in the new year.

The defendants are also arguing that this is a medical malpractice case with a statute of limitations that expires two years after a patient is discharged from the hospital.

Of the 46 former patients that have filed suit against the hospital, 36 are accusing Dr. Davidow of sexual misconduct.

Dr. Davidow served as Cumberland’s Medical Director for more than 20 years but was terminated in February 2020 shortly after a CBS 6 investigative report detailed some of the accusations against him.

Davidow was indicted last November on sex crimes.

Other patients in the complaint claim they were mentally and physically abused at the facility.

This comes as the state says the hospital has improved on self-reporting incidents. But records show abuse complaints against the hospital are still being substantiated.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, CBS 6 has learned the hospital was cited at least five times for substantiated allegations including verbal and physical abuse and improper seclusion.

In a Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) Abuse Allegation Report dated October 9, 2022, the report states that "the RN cursed at the resident" and threatened to "Beat the resident's ass then press charges if the resident came behind the RN station." There were also several complaints the last year that weren’t substantiated.

Reports returned to CBS 6 from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and DBHDS:

“Any allegation of improper conduct by staff is reported, investigated, and satisfactorily handled,” said Cumberland Hospital CEO Garrett Hamilton.

“Cumberland Hospital complies with the reporting requirements, ensuring that any and all allegations are addressed per regulations set by our licensing agencies. We value feedback from our surveyors and are committed to continuous improvement” he added.

The Virginia State Police has been investigating abuse and neglect claims against staff at the hospital since October 2017. VSP Spokesperson Corinne Geller confirmed for CBS 6 the investigation is still active and ongoing.

Dr. Davidow is the third Cumberland employee to be criminally indicted.

Psychotherapist Herschel “Mickey” Harden died by suicide in February 2021, the day prosecutors said he was to plead guilty to a sex crime against a former patient. R.H. was also one of the alleged victims in the Davidow criminal case and in the civil case.

Later that year, a behavior technician named Stacey Burrell was convicted of burning a non-verbal patient with hot water.

Source: “New information in $387 million lawsuit against Cumberland Children’s Hospital,” WTVR News 6 (Richmond, VA), July 31, 2023, URL: https://www.wtvr.com/news/local-news/cumberland-childrens-hospital-lawsuit-update-07-31-2023  


No comments.

Post your own comment here:

Your Comment