$127M Lawsuit Against a Kent County Children’s Hospital and Its Workers

Cumberland Hospital for Children and Adolescence is being sued for physical and sexual abuse of their child patients. Law firm Breit Cantor filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit in Richmond Circuit Court on October 20, 2020, against Cumberland and its parent company Universal Health Services (UHS), its former Medical Director Dr. Daniel Davidow, and Herschel “Mickey” Harden, a former psychotherapist who was indicted in February for sexually abusing a former female client.

The allegations in the lawsuit go as far back as 2008. As per a report by CBS News 6, Dr. Davidow took femoral pulses of his female clients and would “place his hand beneath the minor patient’s undergarments and sexually abuse the minor patient by intentionally touching the minor patient’s intimate body parts.”[1] Additionally, Dr. Davidow “wasn’t taking the femoral pulse of patients when their parents were in the room, he was only taking the femoral pulse of patients when they were alone when they didn’t have somebody there to speak for them and when they are the most vulnerable.”[2] Patients as young as 12 years old have made allegations of sexual abuse by the doctor.

The complaint filed alleges some of the following:

  1. UHS, Cumberland, Davidow, and Harden constantly pressured staff to change the primary diagnosis of patients, chart aggressive or sexually aggressive precautions in the patients’ records, and otherwise made fraudulent and materially false statements in medical records to justify longer stays.
  2. If a patient’s parent or guardian would not consent to admission or questioned changes to the medical records, the staff at Cumberland Hospital would threaten to call the police and the Virginia Department of Child Protective Services to force the patients’ parents to admit their child to Cumberland Hospital and silence them from making reports or question decisions made by Cumberland, UHS, Davidow, and Harden.
  3. Contrary to Cumberland’s “Seclusion and Restraint Philosophy and Family Notification,” UHS, Cumberland, Davidow, and Haden frequently used physical restraints and seclusion to coerce, discipline, and retaliate against patients.

Davidow since then has had his medical license revoked. The hospital is also alleged to have been playing a money game, by moving clients around the hospital to different beds in order to increase profits. This is being done even though Cumberland does not have adequate staff, proper licenses, and resources to take care of the children. The allegations against Davidow were brought up in a group session led by an intern. As stated by an alleged victim per CBS 6 News “He had me slide down my pants and he grabbed my underwear and pulled them down.”[3] Additionally, the alleged victim stated, “I was obviously very tense because it was a very uncomfortable situation and he was like just relax, just relax and he still did not have gloves on.”[4]

The complaint can be found here.

For more information see the CBS News 6 press release.

[1] Laura French, $127M lawsuit filed against doctors, Cumberland Hospital for Children for alleged sexual abuse, CBS News 6, (Oct. 21, 2020, 6:09 PM), https://www.wtvr.com/news/problem-solvers/problem-solvers-investigations/127m-lawsuit-filed-against-doctors-childrens-hospital-for-alleged-sexual-abuse.

[2] Id.

[3] Id.

[4] Id.

Make your voice heard!

Make your voice heard! County Judge Lina Hidalgo is holding a community-wide series of events to hear from residents on issues that matter to you. This weekend they will be at the University of Houston discussing criminal and juvenile justice. Free breakfast and lunch, interpretation, and childcare will be provided. Learn more and register for Saturday’s event:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/civic-saturday-criminal-justice-tickets-56349265169

We Need YOU!!! Taking Volunteers to help with Mock Trial!!

Houston area high school students have been working hard in their Street Law classes, and are right now choosing their roles, practicing, and working with their groups to prepare for the annual University of Houston Law Center Mock Trial Competition. We need help to run this special event and are currently dangerously short on volunteers. We ask that you consider donating time to mentor these youth and facilitate the street law educational program. Please contact Professor Marrus, emarrus@central.uh.edu or me at lauaelynn@hotmail.com if you are able to give of your time. More details below.

From Professor Marrus:

Street Law Mock Trial – What is it? Law students from the University of Houston Law Center work with high school students every a week in local HISD and KIPP schools for the fall and spring semesters. They teach the high school students about the law and our legal system. During the spring semester the students compete in a mock trial competition. The competition is fierce (both the law students and the high school students want their school to go home with the championship trophy). To have this all run smoothly we need your help.  We need judges, scorers and timekeepers for various rounds of the competition. The students appreciate you taking the time to help out and to provide them with feedback on how the trials were conducted. More information will follow about the case, the trial procedures, rules, timing, etc.to those that are interested in helping out. If you cannot commit to judging, scoring, or timekeeping please try and stop by and watch our students in action. Remember these high school students may be our future law students and lawyers. They work hard all year preparing for this day and any support is appreciated.

The competition will take place on Friday, March 29th at the University of Houston Law Center. Round one goes from 9:30 to 11:15, round two is from 12:00 to 1:30, Round three is from 1:45 to 3:15 and our championship round will be from 3:30 to 5:00 PM in Krost Hall. The championship round is going to be judged by Judge Michelle Moore, an alumna of UHLC and newly elected Harris county juvenile judge. All are welcome to attend the championship round and we do need time keepers and scorers for that round also.

If you are interested in participating please copy and paste the form below and email it to emarrus@central.uh.edu as soon as possible, but no later than March 4th. Thanks for your help and support.

******************************************************************************************************************************************************

Name:

Email address:

I am a

⚪️ Judge

⚪️    Lawyer

⚪️    Law professor

⚪️    Law student

⚪️    Legal professional

⚪️ Undergraduate student

⚪️ Other:______________________________________________

There are four ways to volunteer – judges, scorers, time keepers, and general volunteers. Judges have to be lawyers and/or judges to preside over the mock trial. Judges rule on objections, maintain order in the courtroom, may be keeping track of time, scoring, and providing feedback to the students. It is important to read over the packet prior to the trial and clarifying any matters where questions might arise ahead of time. Scorers can be law students, lawyers or judges. In that role you are given a set of criteria for rating the teams numerically. The criteria includes the quality of students’ presentations, understanding of the law, grasp of the issues in the case, and overall organization, to name a few. All scorers have to turn in the scoresheets immediately following the completion of the trial.  The scorers and judges will also pick the best attorney and best witness for each team. Time keepers will keep time for each round. We hope to have two time keepers in each room. One to keep time for the prosecution and the other for the defense. General volunteers will help direct people to the appropriate room, collect score sheets, help tally, assign people to rooms and provide general support for all participants.

I am interested in being a (you may check more than one) ⚪️ judge        ⚪️ scorer     ⚪️       time keeper  ⚪️      general volunteer

For      ⚪️ round one (9:30 to 11:15)         ⚪️       round two (12:00 – 1:30)       ⚪️      round three (1:45 to 315)

If you are interested in being a general volunteer please indicate the times you would be available _______________________________________________

If you are interested in volunteering with the championship round, please indicate here – ______Yes, I will stay for the championship round and would be willing to help out.

WE ALWAYS NEED ADDITIONAL HELP. IF YOU KNOW ANYONE WHO MAY BE INTERESTED IN VOLUNTEERING PLEASE FEEL FREE TO FORWARD THIS EMAIL TO THEM. THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP.