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Omaha World-Herald: Domina Says Surgeon Accused of Touching Patients Could Have Been Stopped

Surgery room

The Omaha World-Herald has published another feature article profiling Domina Law Group’s pending lawsuit against an orthopedic hospital and a local surgeon accused of touching female patients while they were under anesthesia.

As reported by the World-Herald, the lawsuit concerns Mrs. Deborah Lowndes, who has been courageous in sharing her story of being inappropriately touched by Dr. Mark Dietrich while undergoing a routine hip surgery at OrthoNebraska in December 2016.

Following her procedure, Lowndes was told by an Omaha Police Detective that Dietrich had been under investigation for alleged sex crimes, and had touched Lowndes twice while she was under anesthesia. The incident took place in an operating room filled with nurses and hospital personnel, the Detective said, including staff who had reportedly seen the surgeon touch other female patients, ages 13 to adult.

What’s more, the detective said the hospital, which had already been concerned about Dietrich’s conduct leading up to Lowndes’ surgery, planted a staff member in the operating room whose sole job was to watch Dietrich for inappropriate conduct.

Dave Domina, who is representing Mrs. Lowndes in her lawsuit against OrthoNebraska, is quoted by the Omaha World-Herald at length discussing the case and why the doctor could have been stopped. As he tells reporters, no one from OrthoNebraska informed Lowndes her anesthetized body would be used as a “test dummy” or “bait” in what Domina calls an “internal, vigilante investigation.” The lack of criminal charges, he adds, “makes no sense.”

Domina goes on to say his quest for answers in the case has been frustrated by OrthoNebraska’s argument that the observer was part of a confidential peer review, which Nebraska law defines as an evaluation of providers’ quality and efficiency of care. As Domina notes, however, placing an observer in the operating room wasn’t about efficiency or quality, but rather criminal activity:

“We are demanding that a health care organization be forthcoming about what happens to its patients. Planning a circumstance in which you put a patient in jeopardy cannot be kept secret from that jeopardized patient.”

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