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New Kent County, VA - Cumberland Children's Hospital Faces $127 Million Lawsuit for Abuse of Patients

Published: October 23, 2020
By: Janean Cuffee
Last Updated on November 23, 2020

Cumberland Children’s Hospital Faces a $127 Million Lawsuit for Abuse of Patients

According to NBC12, families of 20 former patients at Cumberland Children’s Hospital in New Kent County filed a $127 million lawsuit.
The civil lawsuit consists of nine counts, including sexual and physical abuse over 12 years. NBC12 highlights the lawsuit states:

  • The hospital and its owner, Universal Health Services (UHS), ignored reports from patients, families, and employees about the ongoing abuse.
  • Other patients and roommates sexually assaulted weaker and younger patients after hours without staff intervention. These patients would sexually abuse others by “groping and fondling intimate body parts.”
  • Patients were allegedly scalded with hot water by an employee.
  • UHS and Cumberland had inadequate staff overseeing operations, failing to protect the safety and health of patients. Twelve victims to “non-consensual and unwanted touching” by Dr. Davidow, who, as medical director, approved all admissions to the facility.
Hello. My name is Kevin Biniazan. I am licensed to practice law in Arizona and Virginia. If you or a loved one needs legal assistance, I’d be happy to speak with you. Call the number below. It would be my honor to help you. Consultations are free.
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Abuse Guardian highlights the complaints into the fraudulent scheme and sexual and physical abuse.

  • Sexual and physical abuse outlined in the complaint:
    • “plaintiffs and other patients at Cumberland Hospital were repeatedly sexually abused; physically abused; forced to urinate in their bedrooms or in cups stored in their bedrooms; forced to sleep and reside in rooms covered in skin particles and scabs that were picked by prior residents and forced to sleep on beds with sheets that were rarely, if ever, changed.”
    • The complaint highlights sexual abuse that occurred at the hands of Dr. Daniel Davidow and psychotherapist Herschel “Mickey” Harden. Additionally, Harden and Davidow instructed their staff never to call 911 regardless of incidents occurring. However, the staff was to report the abuse to the parents and submit that authorities were contacted, intentionally deceiving parents.
  • The fraudulent scheme outlined in the complaint:
    • Davidow and Harden allegedly put pressure on admission staff and doctors to admit children to fill beds knowing their staff was inadequate.
    • Davidow and Harden also encouraged staff to keep patients admitted to continue pay despite patients no longer being required at the facility. Harden and Davidow encouraged staff to introduce false diagnoses and change medical records, so patients stayed longer and increased profit.
    • Additionally, “…defendants…fraudulently held Cumberland Hospital out as a properly and appropriately licensed hospital providing inpatient psychiatric services, residential behavioral health services for children and adolescents with mental illness or developmental disabilities, and chronic, complex medical problems”.

According to the families’ lawsuit, the former medical director inappropriately touched young female patients genitalia as young at 12-years-old during medical exams. Additionally, employees and other patients physically harmed other residents. These acts resulted in PTSD, embarrassment, depression, sleep disorders, bodily injuries, long-term pain and suffering, and more. The lawsuit identifies 20 victims who reside in 12 different states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Virginia.

The lawsuits names Cumberland Hospital for Children and Adolescents, UHS, two physicians, Herschel Harden and Daniel Davidow, a pediatrician from 1996-2020, the hospital’s medical director. Harden was indicted for his sex crimes in February.

Legal Options of Victims Abused at a Medical Facility

Attorney Contributor Kevin Biniazan experienced malpractice, and sex abuse lawyer represents victims abused at a medical facility. In an interview, we asked Kevin to highlight the legal rights of victims abused by doctors.

“Across the country, we have seen cases on medical staffs exploiting their patient’s vulnerability, trust, and respect. Patients inherently trust their doctors and expect that medical staff to carry themselves professionally. Unfortunately, some medical staff abuse their positions of power and take advantage of their patients. In civil lawsuits, the justice system helps patients get justice and ensures the medical facility is held accountable for their malpractice and abuse.”

“Medical facilities have a legal obligation to uphold the safety of their patients. Sexual misconduct by medical staff is often a result of negligence on behalf of the medical facility. For example, if prior complaints were filed against staff, but there was not a proper investigation. In cases of negligence, a medical facility may be found liable. Victims of sexual abuse at a medical facility should consult an experienced sex abuse lawyer to learn more about their legal rights.”

“Additionally, malpractice at a medical facility is sometimes the result of negligence on behalf of the facility. Medical professionals cannot perform procedures or hold patients in a facility without their patients’ consent. Medical professionals are required to share updates to a patient’s records and cannot fabricate a patient’s medical record. In cases where a medical professional goes against custom, they may be considered liable in a court of law, making them responsible for damages. In negligence and malpractice cases, victims may have grounds to file a lawsuit and receive compensation for their abuse. These victims should contact an experienced malpractice lawyer to explore their legal options.”


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About the Author
Janean Cuffee
About Janean Cuffee
Editor: Janean is an NYU Applied Psychology major with a double minor in history and sociology. As a NY native, she focuses on highlighting important legal news regarding violence, assaults, and social justice cases. Contact Janean: This article was fact checked prior to publishing by this author to ensure compliance with our rigorous editorial standards. We will only use authoritative sources. Our values compel us to provide only trustworthy information. If you find an error, please contact us.
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