Clinic, doctor again named in sexual harassment lawsuit

By Ben Hart | May 14, 2014

CHARLESTON -- A Raleigh County woman is suing a clinic and doctor, claiming sexual harassment.

Beverly York filed a lawsuit April 17 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Hope Clinic PLLC, John H. Pellegrini D.O., The ERx Group LLC and PmP Services Inc., citing civil assault, battery, false imprisonment, negligence, negligent hiring, failure to supervise and infliction of emotional distress.

York claims she was treated by Pellegrini beginning in November 2010, in Kanawha County, when he began inappropriately touching her.

According to the claim, Pellegrini was examining York's back when he rubbed his obvious erection against her legs in May 2012 and at other times he touched her buttocks, hips and breasts, causing York emotional and mental distress.

York is seeking for the defendants to stop unlawful conduct, damages, attorney's fees, interest and court costs.

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. Other suits have been filed earlier this year in Raleigh Circuit Court and Kanawha Circuit Court.


York is being represented by Charleston attorneys Matthew W. Criswell and Mark L. French of Criswell French PLLC. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Tod J. Kaufman.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 14-C-752


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