Woman says ER doctor assaulted her

By Annie Cosby | Dec 22, 2014

LOGAN – A Logan County woman is suing over claims she was assaulted by an emergency room doctor.

Aleshia Hunter filed a lawsuit Dec. 8 in Logan Circuit Court against Logan General Hospital, doing business as Logan Regional Medical Center, Marshall Emergency Services Associates and Dr. Rely Carbonel, citing assault.

According to the complaint, on Dec. 11, 2012, Hunter became concerned when she experienced vaginal bleeding because she had undergone an endometrial ablating in 2006, so she called her primary care physician, whose office told her to go the emergency room. Hunter says she called the Logan Regional Medical Center emergency room to inquire about which physicians were on duty and was informed by nurse Randall that Dr. Carbonel and another physician were there, so she informed the nurse she did not wish to be treated by Carbonel due to his reputation in the community with female patients.

Despite this, Hunter says when she arrived at the hospital, Carbonel walked into the examination room, so she requested he perform an ultrasound instead of a vaginal exam. According to the lawsuit, Carbonel refused and inserted his hand into her vagina as he made lewd, inappropriate and disgusting comments, which were witnessed by Wendy Short, another of the defendant's employees.

Hunter says she immediately informed nurse Randall of the incident, and Randall contacted the medical center's director of human resources. The complaint states Hunter then met with the director, Short, Randall, and Josh Keyser, and Short confirmed the lewd comments Carbonel had made while examining Hunter.

According to the lawsuit, the next day Hunter left a message with the hospital administrator to see if they had taken any action, and he called her back to inform her that he had discussed the incident with Carbonel but it wasn't until a week later that an investigator hired by Marshall Emergency Services informed her Carbonel would be fired.

However, Hunter says, the investigator called back to inform her he would not be fired until the end of December 2012, but would not be permitted to treat female patients.

According to the lawsuit, the defendant companies continued to allow Carbonel to treat its patients after the incident, and even sent Hunter a bill for her visit to the facility during which she was assaulted.

The defendants are accused of negligence, false imprisonment, premises liability and violation of the plaintiff's right to privacy. The corporate defendants are accused of negligent hiring and negligent failure to train or supervise. Carbonel is also accused of civil assault and battery, tort of outrage/intentional infliction of emotional distress and medical negligence - breach of standard of care.

Hunter seeks compensatory and punitive damages plus interest, attorney fees and costs of litigation. She is represented by attorney Todd S. Bailess of Bailess Law Firm in Charleston. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Roger L. Perry.

Logan Circuit Court case number: 14-C-321

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