BECKLEY -- A Nicholas County woman is suing a physician, claiming she was sexually harassed during an exam.

Camilla Ramsey filed a lawsuit Jan. 22 in Raleigh Circuit Court against Hope Clinic PLLC and John H. Pellegrini D.O., citing civil assault and battery, false imprisonment and negligence.

Ramsey alleges in the suit that on Sept. 28, 2012, during an appointment with Pellegini, she was a victim of sexual assault. The suit claims Pellegini illegally detained Ramsey and rubbed his genitals on her body during the exam, causing her severe emotional and mental distress, humiliation, anxiety and embarrassment. According to the claim, the defendant's treatment of Ramsey fell below the acceptable standard of care.

Dozens of lawsuits have been filed against Pellegrini since 2010 involving claims that he sexually abused and harassed patients.   In November 2012, the West Virginia Board of Osteopathic Medicine suspended Pellegrini’s license.

In 2001, Pellegrini was the subject of a medical malpractice lawsuit filed in federal court.  The lawsuit stemmed from allegations that Dr. Pellegrini negligently performed a hysterectomy on the plaintiff. In July 2010, 20 women filed lawsuits in Wayne County alleging that Pellegrini sexually abused and harassed them while he worked as a physician at the Lakin Correction Center. In 2011, another suit was filed against Pellegrini. And in 2013, another was filed against him.

The 2012 WVBOM order found probable cause to believe that Pellegrini engaged in unprofessional and unethical conduct.  The Board also issued a Statement of Charges that alleged Pellegrini committed repeated acts of an unethical exercise of influence within a doctor-patient relationship for the purpose of engaging a patient in sexual activity.

The Board also found that Pellegrini was likely to continue his practices of unethical and inappropriate behavior unless it took immediate action.  The Board then suspended Pellegrini’s medical license based on a finding that Pellegrini’s continued practice of medicine and surgery would constitute an immediate danger to the public.

In 2013, at least one lawsuit has been filed against Pellegrini, Hope Clinic and ERX involving allegations that Pellegrini sexually abused, sexual harassed his patients and subjected them to other inappropriate conduct.

Ramsey is seeking damages, interest, attorney's fees and court costs. She is being represented in the case by Charleston attorney Matthew S. Criswell of Criswell French Condaras PLLC. The case has been assigned to Judge Robert A. Burnside.

Raleigh Circuit Court case number 14-C-46-B

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