Family sues Earl Bradley, Beebe

Doctors, medical society also named
April 2, 2010

Fri, Apr 2, 2010 -

A Lewes attorney has filed a civil lawsuit against Dr. Earl Bradley, Beebe Medical Center, the Medical Society of Delaware and three doctors, citing negligence, willful and wanton conduct, and failure to report Bradley’s conduct.

Attorney Chase Brockstedt of Bifferato Gentilotti has filed the suit on behalf of parents, F. and M. Doe, and their daughter, named D. Doe. The girl is now 2 years old but was abused when she was 17 months old. The parents have sued anonymously to protect the family’s identity and prevent unwanted public attention to the abuse suffered by the child.

Brockstedt is requesting a jury trial. The suit states that at the time of her pregnancy, M. Doe was an obstetrics patient of a physician in Milford.

Because her obstetrician also had privileges at Beebe, the birth was scheduled to take place at Beebe. Upon reviewing Beebe’s website, M. Doe learned Bradley enjoyed hospital privileges there.

She contacted Bradley’s BayBees Pediatrics office and requested an interview with Bradley.

Bradley’s office told her the pediatrician did not grant interviews but that he would be the on-call pediatrician at the time of the birth. The mother was told by Bradley’s office to inform the nursing staff at Beebe that Bradley was her pediatrician. Prior to the birth, members of the nursing staff at Beebe told the mother that Bradley was “a great doctor” who lived close to the hospital. Bradley was the only pediatrician identified and came highly recommended by the nursing staff.

Because of the recommendations of the staff, and because he enjoyed hospital privileges at Beebe, Bradley became D. Doe’s physician.

“As a direct and proximate consequence of D. Doe becoming a patient of defendants Bradley and BayBees, Bradley was able to perpetrate acts of sexual abuse upon D. Doe,” the suit says.

Because Beebe empowered Bradley to act on the hospital’s behalf, Bradley was subject to the direction, supervision and control of the medical center. The suit says Beebe was on notice of prior unprofessional conduct by Bradley – the suit does not include a date – including suspicions of sexual abuse and allegations of sexual abuse.

As a direct consequence of Bradley’s conduct, the family was damaged sexually, physically, mentally and emotionally, the suit says.

In a second count, the suit alleges that Bradley’s crimes constitute civil assault and battery and lays liability at the feet of Bradley, BayBees and Beebe.

A third count charges Bradley and BayBees with medical negligence, making BayBees liable for Bradley’s conduct.

Beebe is also cited for medical negligence.

The suit says Beebe had a duty – and failed – to properly credential, qualify, select and investigate Bradley, when it knew or should have known that Bradley’s conduct could endanger public health, safety and welfare. In addition, the suit says Beebe did not properly monitor Bradley’s conduct and failed to report Bradley to the Board of Medical Practice or to Child Protective Services and failed to revoke, suspend or terminate Bradley when the hospital heard about the doctor’s conduct.

Brockstedt added that from 2004-05 – when Bradley was investigated for child sexual abuse charges in Milford – and the time when D. Doe was abused, Beebe twice recredentialed Bradley.

Besides Bradley and Beebe, the suit also alleges a failure to report Bradley’s conduct against the medical society and doctors James Marvel, Carol Tavani and Lowell Scott. Marvel maintains an office in Lewes, Scott has a practice in Milford and Tavani works for Christiana Psychiatric Services in Newark. The suit says the doctors had knowledge that Bradley had engaged in unprofessional conduct.

Beebe Medical Center, Scott and Tavani were not available for comment. Marvel’s office said Marvel is not making comments at this time.

All three doctors and the medical society were also named in a similar suit filed by Wilmington attorney Bruce Hudson.

The suit says all defendants acted negligently and the family is seeking general and special damages, punitive damages, attorney fees and any pre- or post-trial judgments.