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Hospital and employee named in sexual battery suit

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By Jennifer Caldwell

Alleged inappropriate contact with a patient recently landed St. Mary’s Medical Center of Campbell County and one of its employees in the center of a court action.
On Aug. 24 Earnest A. Rouse filed a complaint in circuit court alleging that while he was a patient at the hospital, employee Roger Leach committed sexual battery against him.
Rouse’s attorney Richard Baker asserts that while Rouse was a patient at SMMC in August 2009 on “repeated occasions” Leach attempted to sexually molest him.
The complaint further states that Leach had been dismissed from previous employment because of inappropriate sexual contact with patients.
As a result of Leach’s alleged previous history, Baker argues in the court filing that SMMC was negligent in the hiring of Leach and as result Rouse has suffered “serious, significant emotional distress” which has cause him to incur medical expenses for treatment.
As a result of Rouse’s injuries, Leach is liable for punitive damages, Baker said in the filing.
The complaint also alleged that SMMC failed to use “reasonable care” and was “recklessly indifferent to the consequences of putting Leach in charge of patient care.
Rouse is asking for $250,000 plus punitive damages in an amount to be determined by a jury.