BECKLEY — A father and daughter have filed a lawsuit against Appalachia Regional Healthcare after they allege the 15-year-old was sexually harassed by a physician.
The lawsuit also names Dr. Zouhair Kabarra as a defendant in the suit.
E.C. and K.C. allege she and at least 20 others were sexually harassed by Kabarra at Beckley ARH Hospital, according to a complaint filed Aug. 19 in Raleigh Circuit Court. E.C. and K.C. both worked in the volunteer program, with E.C. starting in December 2018 and K.C. beginning in June 2019.
K.C. alleges she was working as an unpaid junior volunteer at the hospital when she was sexually harassed by Kabarrat. Despite other complaints against Kabarra, the suit states, the hospital did nothing about it.
The complaint alleges after K.C. had been volunteering for approximately two weeks, Kabarra's sexual harassment began. Kabarra sexually harassed the teen several times, and even went as far as pressing his genitalia against her buttocks, according to the suit. Kabarra also chased several minor volunteers down the stairs after they avoided him in an elevator, the suit alleges.
The plaintiffs say after they informed the hospital about the sexual harassment, they were barred from participating in the volunteer program anymore.
"Dr. Zouhair Kabbara is no longer an employee of ARH or a member of the medical staff at Beckley ARH Hospital," said Melissa Cornett, ARH system manager of marketing and communications. "We can confirm that we received the lawsuit Aug. 26. However, it is our policy not to comment on ongoing litigation, so we have no further comment on the lawsuit or its allegations."
The plaintiffs are represented by attorney Stephen P. New of New Law Office in Beckley.
The case is assigned to Circuit Judge Darl W. Poling. A hearing is set for Sept. 25 at 9 a.m. before Poling.
Raleigh Circuit Court case number: 19-C-359