In Sex Assault Settlement, OHSU, TikTok Doc Eliminate Most Allegations

OHSU Portland Aerial Tram at sunrise, 2007. Tim Jewett.jpg

The settlement of a sexual assault case last month wiped away most of the allegations against Oregon Health & Science University and its former anesthesiology resident, Dr. Jason Campbell, made by a former OHSU social worker.

PDF iconThe agreement, obtained by The Lund Report in a public records request, includes a four-page amended complaint that replaces the 39-page complaint document originally filed. The original complaint said Campbell snuck up behind the victim in her current office at the Portland Veterans Affairs hospital and “pushed his body and his erection forcibly” into her backside. It said he sent her a photo of his erection and pornographic text messages and that OHSU failed to protect victims by allowing harassment and abuse and retaliating against victims. The complaint said 13 OHSU employees, including several high-profile physicians, knew about the harassment and assault but that most did nothing about it, violating Title IX rules.

None of that is in the amended complaint, which boils down pages of allegations into a paragraph: 

“Beginning in January of 2020, Dr. Campbell began engaging in unwelcome conduct toward (the) plaintiff,” the amended complaint says. “On March 12, 2020, at the VA Hospital, Dr. Campbell attempted to and did in fact cause harmful offensive contact with plaintiff, causing plaintiff personal injury and emotional distress and interference with usual life activities.”

The amended version accuses OHSU and Campbell only of negligence, dropping charges of sexual assault, battery, intensional infliction of emotional distress and invasion of privacy.

It says that all of the parties deny any wrongdoing and that the case will remain closed, even if new evidence emerges in the future.

The settlement cost was split between Campbell and OHSU: Campbell agreed to pay $85,000 the plaintiff and OHSU agreed to pay $500,000. But the institution will not lose any revenue. The settlement for both Campbell and OHSU will be paid by Allstate Indemnity Company, the agreement says.

As part of the settlement, Campbell and OHSU cannot make any claims against each other, a provision that bars Campbell from suing OHSU, for example.

The plaintiff, named as A.B. in the suit, agreed to withdraw her claims.

“She acknowledges that by this agreement she has received full satisfaction for the injury,” the settlement says.

The settlement was signed by the three parties, who agreed to release a joint statement and say nothing further about the case.

In the statement, reported earlier by The Lund Report, OHSU apologized to A.B. and other victims and recognized the need for “creating a safe and inclusive environment that is free from harassment and discrimination.”

The settlement does not clear OHSU of the fallout: The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education is looking into allegations detailed in the original complaint.

If that investigation finds wrongdoing,  the council could issue a warning, put OHSU or its anesthesiology program on probation or withdraw accreditation from one or both, a move that would essentially end the program.

Neither the council nor OHSU would release information about the investigation. OHSU, which has pledged to be transparent and hired former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate its workplace culture, cited an Oregon statute which allows a public entity to hide documents in an investigation.

The inquiry by Holder, a partner in the Covington and Burlap law firm, is ongoing. It’s not clear whether the results of that investigation will be made public.

The lawsuit also sparked a bill in the Legislature -- Senate Joint Resolution 30 -- which would give lawmakers the authority to investigate sexual harassment and racial discrimination on Oregon campuses. Sen. President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, has referred the bill to the rules committee.

You can reach Lynne Terry at [email protected] or on Twitter @LynnePDX.

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