Provo gynecologist accused of sexual assault
Content warning: the following article discusses the topic of sexual abuse.
UPDATE: As of March 14, the Gross and Rooney law firm presented an updated complaint against Broadbent. The complaint was updated to include the stories of 50 different defendants who have experienced abuse at the hands of Broadbent. In the original complaint from February 15, only four women’s stories were included.
The added accounts occasionally place a nurse or third party in the room with Broadbent during these some of the appointments.
The updated statement reads that those who “Aided and abetted in Broadbent’s schemes, are vicariously liable for Broadbent’s actions, concealed Broadbent’s tortious conduct, negligently or intentionally failed to take the steps necessary to protect Plaintiffs and other victims from Broadbent’s tortious conduct.”
50 anonymous women have come forth with complaints of sexual assault against David H. Broadbent, an obstetrician and gynecologist who has been practicing in the Provo area since the 1980’s.
The women – the majority of them being students at Brigham Young University – made appointments at Broadbent’s office because it was the closest OB/GYN office to student housing. Although only four women have come forth with their individual stories, the report filed by the plaintiff’s lawyers states that up to 100 women have experienced assault at the hands of Broadbent.
“A woman is rarely more vulnerable than when she is lying on an exam table, unclothed, trusting a male gynecologist to provide her with the medical care she needs,” reads a statement provided by the Gross and Rooney law firm, who is representing the victims. “Dr. David H. Broadbent took advantage of his position, Plaintiff’s vulnerability, and that relationship of trust as he sexually battered and abused Plaintiff’s and numerous other women over the course of three decades.”
Complaints of sexual assault on behalf of Broadbent began as early as 1996, but it wasn’t until December 2021, when one of the victims shared her story on a podcast, that several other women realized they had also been sexually abused by Broadbent. The name of the podcast was not listed in the legal documents.
In the statements provided by victims, the women stated that they didn’t realize what happened to them was sexual battery. All women report sexual touching that was not consistent with a medical exam. Broadbent was a doctor, a man of authority, some of the women state they felt they were being “stupid” for questioning his medical processes and authority.
“I visited Dr. Broadbent when I was 13 weeks pregnant in 2018. He checked my chart and confirmed I was not due for a pap smear but asked if I wanted a pelvic exam or pap smear anyway. I said no, He then gave me a hospital gown and told me to undress from the waist down. My husband and I were confused but did it anyway,” said a reviewer on Healthgrades.com under Broadbent’s page. The reviewer continued to describe the abuse they received at the hands of Broadbent. “It was also very confusing and uncomfortable. I left feeling horrible and violated… Dr. Broadbent should not be allowed to keep practicing as an OBGYN.”
“Broadbent’s actions were not medically necessary – they were acts of sexual battery which he knowingly and intentionally performed for no other reason than his own sexual gratification,” the report says. “Broadbent concealed his actions under the guise of medically necessary care, shattered the trust these Plaintiffs and countless others placed in him, and committed these wrongful actions with no regard for the harm they caused Plaintiffs and others.”
The complaint was filed against both Broadbent and MountainStar Hospitals, in which Broadbent was employed. The document accuses MountainStar of “negligent supervision,” stating, “MountainStar was also aware of the instances of sexual abuse at the hands of Broadbent,” due to the multiple complaints against him.
MountainStar denies these claims in a statement given to the Daily Herald. “We sympathize with and fully support any individuals in the recently filed lawsuit who may have experienced this alleged behavior at the physician’s private clinic in Provo. Like hundreds of other physicians who practice privately in our community, this physician is not employed by any MountainStar hospital. Over the years, this physician has seen a small number of patients at one of our facilities each year; however, to our knowledge, there are no allegations of inappropriate conduct at our facility. The physician is not currently authorized to see patients at our facility. While we empathize with the people involved, we believe we were inappropriately named in this lawsuit and we will defend ourselves accordingly.”