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Columbia University will pay $165 million to sexual abuse victims of a former gynecologist

By Rob Frehse and Zenebou Sylla, CNN

Nearly 150 women who reported sexual abuse or misconduct by a former gynecologist reached a $165 million settlement with the hospital system that employed him, Columbia University announced Friday.

Columbia University Irving Medical Center and New York-Presbyterian Hospital reached the settlement with 147 women who were patients of Robert A. Hadden, according to a news release from the institution. The money will be used to establish a compensation fund to be distributed to the women.

The agreement follows a $71.5 million settlement in 2021 between the hospital system and 79 women who were patients of Hadden.

“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,” the university’s medical center said in the release. “All those who came forward should be commended. We are committed to the safety and dignity of every one of our patients and have adopted policies to ensure they are protected and empowered while in our care.”

Over the last decade, CUIMC’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology said they “revised existing policies, adopted new ones, and expanded resources to earn and maintain patients’ trust,” according to the release.

An attorney who represents more than 230 of Hadden’s victims, almost all of whom have been included in the two settlements, told CNN in a statement, “This is just the beginning.”

Attorney Anthony T. DiPietro said Hadden had thousands of patients, and “many aren’t even aware of how they were sexually exploited.”

Hadden was indicted in 2020 for six counts of enticing and inducing dozens of victims to travel to his medical offices in New York and subjecting them to unlawful sexual abuse from about 1993 to 2012, according to prosecutors. The charges involved a minor and five adults.

Hadden entered a plea of not guilty in July 2021, according to court filings. The case is scheduled to go to trial in 2023.

In 2016, Hadden pleaded guilty to a criminal sex act in the third degree and forcible touching and was required to surrender his medical license. He has not practiced as a doctor since August 2012, according to the university.

In 2020, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office said they were investigating new allegations against Hadden. Friday night, the office confirmed the investigation is ongoing.

CNN has reached out to attorneys representing Hadden for comment.

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