West Virginia Record

Monday, February 24, 2020

Insurance company says doctor’s policy doesn’t cover sexual assaults

By Kyla Asbury | Feb 16, 2017

Medical malpractice 07

CHARLESTON – The insurance company for Dr. Steven R. Matulis, who is under investigation for allegedly sexually assaulting female patients during colonoscopy procedures, said his policy does not cover claims of sexual assault.

Westfield Insurance Company filed a lawsuit against Matulis, Charleston Gastroenterology Associates, T.W., K.H., T.F., J.L., A.G., B.D., A.H., A.M., C.S. and J.W. on Feb. 14 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.

The ten women known by their initials underwent colonoscopies performed by Matulis and alleged that without their consent, Matulis sexually assaulted them and/or inappropriate placed his hands upon them while they were distracted or impaired and, as such, the colonoscopies they received were not medically reliable or performed within the applicable standard of care due to Matulis’ alleged perversions and proclivity for sexually assaulting unconscious female patients during colonoscopies.

The insurance company claims it covered Matulis and the medical firm he worked for between March 2015 and March 2016, but that the policy does not provide coverage for the defense or indemnification of Charleston Gastroenterology Associates or Matulis for those claims asserted by the claimants in connection with the alleged sexual assault of the claimants and/or the provision of inadequate medical care to the claimants at any time.

The claims for vicarious liability against the medical practice and Matulis are not covered under the insurance policy because there is no allegation that Matulis caused “bodily injury,” according to the suit.

Westfield is seeking for an order that states it does not have to provide coverage for the defense or indemnification of CGA or Matulis for the claims asserted by the claimants and that it has no duty to defend or indemnify CGA and/or Matulis against the claims. It is being represented by Brent K. Kesner and Tanya M. Kesner of Kesner & Kesner.

Charleston Area Medical Center revoked Matulis’ privileges at the hospital in March 2016. In May, Matulis stopped his medical practice and voluntarily switched in license to practice to inactive.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia case number: 2:17-cv-01269

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