Doctor, clinic hit with another sexual harassment suit

By Ben Hart | Mar 11, 2014

BECKLEY -- A Nicholas County woman is suing a clinic and doctor, claiming sexual harassment.

BECKLEY -- A Nicholas County woman is suing a clinic and doctor, claiming sexual harassment.

Kathy Ellen Dillon filed a lawsuit Feb. 18 in Raleigh Circuit Court against Hope Clinic PLLC and John H. Pellegrini D.O., citing assault, battery, false imprisonment, negligence and infliction of emotional distress.

Dillon claims she went to the Hope Clinic on October 2012 in Raleigh County for her first appointment with Pellegini. According to the claim, while Pellegini was examining Dillon's neck he illegally detained her and assaulted her by rubbing his genitals against her back and legs, causing Dillon emotional and mental distress.

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 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 was filed against Pellegrini, Hope Clinic and other entities involving allegations that Pellegrini sexually abused, sexual harassed his patients and subjected them to other inappropriate conduct. Another suit was filed earlier this year in Raleigh Circuit Court.

Minter is seeking for defendant Dr. Pellegrini to take training programs regarding sexual harassment, damages, attorney's fees, interest and court costs.

She is being represented by Charleston attorneys Matthew W. Criswell and Mark L. French, of Criswell French Condaras PLLC. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge H. L. Kirkpatrick III.

Raleigh Circuit Court case number 14-C-141-H

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