Have You Experienced Sexual Assault Or Abuse?

Dr. Robert Hadden Lawsuit

New York gynecologist Dr. Robert Hadden was recently convicted on charges stemming from his sexual abuse of thousands of women from 1993 until 2012. If you were a victim, you have a limited window to join the Dr. Robert Hadden lawsuit and receive compensation.

Dr. Robert Hadden is a former New York gynecologist that has been convicted on multiple charges stemming from his sexual abuse of thousands of his patients from 1993 until 2012.

His victims included Evelyn Yang, wife of former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, pregnant women, new mothers, and minors at Columbia University medical clinics. These institutions are accused of covering up his abuse. Many of Hadden’s victims have filed civil suits holding Columbia University and its affiliates accountable.

Despite numerous allegations of sexual misconduct from patients over the years, Hadden was allowed to continue practicing medicine unchecked. Internal documents and witnesses at Columbia University and its affiliated clinics show that the institutions where Hadden worked looked the other way and even aided in covering up his abusive behavior.

Following his arrest in 2012 on New York state charges, Hadden was forced to give up his medical license but escaped prison due to a plea deal. However, he was arrested again in 2020 on federal sex trafficking charges.

A jury convicted him in January 2023, and he now may spend the remainder of his natural life in prison. He is awaiting sentencing. Meanwhile, Columbia University and its affiliated hospitals still deny any responsibility for Hadden’s crimes.

Hadden’s victims can join a group of other victims in a class action civil lawsuit against the university to recover compensation for their abuse. Thanks yo a recently passed law, there is still a limited window for survivors to come forward and be included in the lawsuit.

if you suffered sexual abuse at the hands of Hadden, learn more about your options for taking legal action.

Last Date Modified
February 26, 2024
Content Reviewed By:

Kathryn Kosmides
Managing Director | Helping Survivors

Who is Dr. Robert Hadden?

Dr. Robert Hadden is a serial sexual predator who received his New York medical license in 1990 and began practicing gynecological medicine at Columbia University and its affiliated clinics and hospitals. He treated pregnant women, postpartum patients, and gynecological cases at Columbia University, Columbia University Irving Medical Center, and New York-Presbyterian Hospital from 1993 until 2012. It’s estimated he conducted an estimated 30,000 patient visits during his career.

Hadden has been accused and convicted of sexually exploiting and abusing thousands of female patients over his 20-year practice as a physician, including some minors. He used his position as a doctor to perform unnecessary procedures and exams for his own sexual gratification, attempting to pass them off as medical treatment. Hadden perpetrated abuse on patients during their most vulnerable moments by:

  • Forcibly touching patients without medical cause
  • Groping and fondling patients
  • Making sexual contact with patients, including oral contact
  • Asking patients intimate questions about their sex lives during appointments
  • Engaging in unnecessary digital vaginal and anal penetration
  • Performing unnecessary medical procedures
  • Conducting “skin checks” to have patients undress
  • Engaging in sexual behavior with minor children under the guise of physical examination

The American Medical Association’s Code of Medical Ethics prohibits any sexual contact between a patient and their doctor. Hadden’s only defense to these allegations is that he didn’t intend to abuse his patients but acted on his sexual impulses at the moment.

Timeline of Events

Early 1990s: Hadden is licensed in New York and begins practicing medicine from his Manhattan office at Columbia University.

1993-2012: Most of Hadden’s crimes occur during this timeframe. A 1994 letter from a patient alleging sex abuse by Hadden during an exam is buried until years later when he is indicted on criminal sexual assault charges.

2012: A patient reports to law enforcement that Hadden made oral contact with her vagina during a gynecological exam. After his arrest, he continues to work and abuse other patients, including the pregnant wife of former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, until he is forced to stop practicing.

2013: Columbia University sends letters to Hadden’s female patients insinuating that he voluntarily decided to leave medicine. In reality, he stopped practicing medicine because he had been arrested on sexual assault charges related to his practice.

June 2014: The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office indicts Hadden on sex crime charges.

2016: He reaches a controversial plea deal with the Manhattan district attorney’s office. He pleads guilty to third-degree sexual assault and forcible touching and is stripped of his medical license but avoids prison.

September 2020: Hadden is indicted on federal human trafficking charges—six counts of enticing and inducing victims to cross state lines to his medical office in New York to abuse them. Five adults and one minor are among the victims named. Hadden pleads not guilty.

2021: Columbia University Irving Medical Center and New York Presbyterian Hospital settle for $71.5 million with 79 of Hadden’s previous patients.

May 2022: New York Governor Kathy Hochul signs the Adult Survivors Act into law, changing the statute of limitations for adult survivors of sexual assault and abuse to come forward with charges against their abusers, even if the abuse happened years before. Survivors have a one-year window to file new claims of sexual assault against Robert Hadden and other sexual predators in the state.

October 2022: Columbia University Irving Medical Center and New York Presbyterian Hospital agree to a $165 million agreement with 147 additional former patients whom Hadden abused.

July 2023: Hadden was given four 20-year sentences in prison on sex trafficking charges related to 4 female victims. He will be sentenced to 20 years to serve the 4 counts concurrently. The prosecution also enforced a $10,000 fine and lifetime supervised release after Hadden finishes his sentence.

Recent 2023 Updates with the Dr. Hadden Lawsuit

In January 2023, Robert Hadden was convicted on four counts of federal sexual abuse, including charges that he enticed and induced his victims to travel across state lines to engage in illegal sexual activity. Each of these counts carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years. Hadden could spend the rest of his natural life behind bars. His sentencing is scheduled for July 24, 2023.

To date, more than 200 of Hadden’s former patients have settled lawsuits against Columbia University and its affiliates, totaling hundreds of millions of dollars in awarded damages. They allege that Columbia University and its affiliates knew about Hadden’s abuse and failed to act to protect them from his predatory behavior.

As part of an agreement reached with Hadden’s victims, Columbia University and New York Presbyterian Hospital have established a $71.5 million compensation fund for Hadden’s victims.

On July 24, 2023, Judge Richard Berman sentenced Hadden to 20 years in prison where he will serve his four counts of federal sexual abuse concurrently. He will also face a $10,000 fine and lifetime supervised release after his sentence is finished.

Columbia University and New York Presbyterian Hospital's Negligence

Hadden was not able to conceal decades of sexual misconduct on his own. Internal hospital reports and witness accounts show that Columbia University knew about Hadden’s behavior as early as 1993 when a patient lodged a complaint against the doctor. Evidence points to a years-long cover-up by the highest-ranking officials in the organization, including university chairs and the university’s General Counsel.

Evidence shows that Columbia University and New York-Presbyterian Hospital administration knew about reports of Hadden’s wrongdoings and failed to act to prevent him from continuing to see patients:

  • Victims requested a third-party investigation into how Columbia University and its affiliated clinics handled reports of misconduct by Hadden. They allege that complaints were buried and never properly reported to authorities.
  • Police did not investigate reports of abuse by Hadden to Columbia University.
  • A 2020 civil suit filed in New York State accuses Columbia University of aiding and covering up Hadden’s abuse of patients by silencing witnesses and requiring victims to sign non-disclosure statements (NDAs) in some cases.
  • Even after he was arrested for sexual assault in 2012, Columbia continued to allow Hadden to treat patients without a chaperone present during intimate gynecological exams, which led to the victimization of additional patients, including Evelyn Yang.

The bottom line is Columbia University had a duty to protect Hadden’s patients from harm and failed to meet that duty. Medical personnel in New York are mandated reporters of sexual abuse and assault of minors under New York state law. They also have an ethical obligation to report professional misconduct by colleagues. Complaints of sexual misconduct by Hadden were not reported to law enforcement and therefore were not properly investigated. If they had been, hundreds of women might have been spared from abuse by Hadden.

Under the New York Sexual Assault Victim Bill of Rights, victims of sexual abuse and assault have the right to report crimes to their attorney or the police. Making them believe they cannot report because they signed a non-disclosure agreement is unethical.

Hadden was allowed to examine patients unsupervised despite the American Medical Association’s best practice policies encouraging the use of chaperones during gynecological exams. Many incidents giving rise to the allegations occurred when he was alone in an exam room with a patient.

There could still be thousands of Hadden’s victims out there who have yet to come forward or who may still be unaware of the sexual abuse charges brought against their former doctor. Columbia University should be held accountable for the abuse it enabled and the harm it caused to Hadden’s patients.

Class Action Lawsuits

Victims have filed civil suits against the trustees of Columbia University, the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, and New York-Presbyterian Hospital, alleging that hospital personnel were aware of Hadden’s abuse and actively and deliberately concealed it, enabling his misconduct for decades. The victims assert that Columbia University put the organization’s interests over the health and well-being of Hadden’s victims.

Overview of the New York Adult Survivors Act

In May 2022, the New York State Legislature passed the Adult Survivors Act. This piece of legislation created a one-year loopback period for survivors of sexual assault who are over age 18. It extended the statute of limitations for adult sexual assault survivors to come forward and report their abuse. Victims would have one year, beginning November 24, 2022, to file civil lawsuits against their attackers, even if the assault occurred many years ago. The one-year window closes on November 24, 2023.

The Adult Survivors Act has given and continues to give Hadden’s victims the opportunity to pursue legal action even if the statute of limitations has expired.

If you or someone you love was a victim of Dr. Robert Hadden, it’s crucial to reach out as soon as possible before the opportunity to receive compensation passes.

Can I File a Claim Against Hadden Anonymously?

Yes. Sexual assault victims have many reasons for wanting to remain anonymous. They may not want family members, friends, or acquaintances to know about the abuse, or they may wish to stay out of the public eye. Either way, you can file an anonymous claim against Hadden and Columbia University through an attorney. Additionally, if you witnessed Hadden’s criminal behavior, you can report what you saw or heard.

Benefits of Hiring a Lawyer for a Dr. Hadden Lawsuit Claim

Civil action lawsuits can be complicated and time-consuming. Many drag on for years. Plaintiffs often have a better chance at winning their claims and receiving their deserved compensation if they join a class action lawsuit, versus filing a single claim on their own. A class-action lawsuit involves many plaintiffs with similar allegations against common defendants, such as Columbia University and Hadden.

A licensed attorney can guide you in the next steps of your journey by explaining your rights, outlining the money available in Columbia’s victim compensation fund, and helping you decide the best course of action for your situation. They will also help you to prepare the necessary paperwork to access the victim’s fund if you qualify. if you wish to file an anonymous complaint against Dr. Robert Hadden, you will want to find an attorney that agrees to concealing your identity.

Contact Helping Survivors to help you file a claim and hold Hadden and Columbia University accountable for their role in your abuse.

Want To Speak With A Lawyer?

Understand your legal rights and options as a survivor of sexual assault and abuse.