A new civil suit from 301 anonymous women was filed this week against Columbia University, its medical institutions and Dr. Robert Hadden, an OB-GYN convicted of sexually abusing his patients.

The suit alleges that Hadden’s crimes were "ratified, covered up and actively concealed by the co-defendants.”

It was filed under the Adult Survivors Act, which is similar to the Child Victims Act, that gives victims one year to file claims otherwise barred by statute of limitations.

What You Need To Know

  • A civil suit from 301 women was filed against Dr. Robert Hadden, a gynecologist convicted of sexually abusing patients, as well as Columbia University and its medical institution
  • The suit was filed under the Adult Survivors Act, which created a one-year window for sexual assault victims to file suit
  • The window for filing these suits closes Nov. 23
  • State Sen. Brad Hoylman-Sigal said Albany should consider extending it

"This is by far the largest case that has been filed in the state of New York under the Adult Survivors Act," said Anthony T. DiPietro, the plaintiffs' attorney.

"Every time there's a news report about these cases, more people come forward and tell me, 'Hey, I was exposed to this predator as well,'" DiPietro added.

That is why DiPietro and advocates, like Evelyn Yang, a victim of Hadden's who pushed for the law, are demanding Columbia University notify every one of Hadden's patients about his crimes.

"Today we're urging the administration to notify all Hadden patients so that every single person who is exposed to him has a chance to examine her own experience and her own medical records to see if she was affected," Yang said.

Yang, the wife of former mayoral candidate Andrew Yang, and other survivors paid for truck billboards to press the message, while medical students protested the inauguration of Columbia’s new president, Minouche Shafik.

Hadden was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison earlier this year.

Columbia and the medical institutions where he worked previously settled a case on behalf of more than 200 additional women.

"We mentioned 500 survivors. We think that's only scratching the surface of his victims because he practiced for 20-plus years," Yang said.

Columbia University Irving Medical Center in a statement said that the institution is profoundly sorry for the pain Hadden’s patients suffered.

"The prosecution of Hadden that led to his conviction of federal crimes showed how he purposely worked to evade our oversight and engineer situations to abuse his patients," the statement said.

By not notifying patients directly, Yang feels Columbia is trying to run out the clock — the one year window for lawsuits closes on Nov. 23.

State Sen. Brad Hoylman-Sigal, who sponsored the legislation, said Albany should consider extending it.

"There are examples all across the state of people only finding out now literally that they were abused given the fact that some of them were under anesthesia and didn't know and that is a horrific scenario that I think merits the state legislature looking at extending the Adult Survivors Act further, to make certain all survivors of sexual abuse have their day in court," Hoylman-Sigal said.