Charleston, West Virginia — Cheryl Bragg, Kathy Keen, Elisha Riffe, Carista Click and Michelle Dalton have all accused Dr. John Pellegrini of sexually assaulting or harassing them. They have accused the Hope Clinic of negligently hiring Dr. Pelligrini and then ignoring or covering up his inappropriate sexual behavior after hiring him. These ladies are not alone, as numerous other women have made strikingly similar allegations against the doctor and have filed suit.
The Board of Osteopathic Medicine suspended Dr. Pelligrini’s medical license after investigating numerous complaints of sexually inappropriate conduct directed toward female patients. In response to recent news accounts of Dr. Pelligrini’s misconduct, other patients of Dr. Pelligrini have contacted Chris Heavens, personal injury attorney in West Virginia at heavenslaw.com . Heavens said that while the present cases are “just gearing up,” there could be other plaintiffs added to his list of clients. Heavens said much of this will “depend on the nature of the complaints and whether the alleged incidents occurred within West Virginia’s two-year statute of limitations." The present cases were filed in February 2014 in the Kanawha County Circuit Court.
Hope Clinic is a large operation and several corporate entities are involved in the enterprise that employed Dr. Pelligrini as a pain management physician. So far, ERX Group and PMP Services have been named as defendants on the theory that they were involved in negligently retaining or hiring Dr. Pelligrini, but Chris Heavens says their involvement may be more extensive than presently known. Heavens said that there could be more defendants added as investigation and discovery continues. It is also possible that cases will be consolidated for efficiency.
The complaints made by the plaintiffs involve a common method of operation by Dr. Pelligrini where he rubbed his erect penis against female patients through his medical scrubs during procedures in the office. There has been no response from the doctor beyond an answer to one of the plaintiff's claims filed in March, in which he denies any inappropriate conduct. ERX Group and PMP Services have filed cross claims against the doctor. However, the companies deny any liability as a result of the doctor's actions at the Hope Clinic.
"Many of these women were afraid to speak up because they relied on the Hope Clinic as their only local source of healthcare. They were afraid that Dr. Pelligrini would retaliate against them by cutting off their medication,” said Chris Heavens. Heavens added, “most of these women were interviewed by state and federal investigators separately before they retained civil lawyers, so there was no possibility of them comparing stories about what Dr. Pelligrini did to them. Their disturbing accounts of these incidents are very credible. In a world where we advise children to be nice to other people and to take responsibility when they do wrong, it is my hope that the corporations that exposed Dr. Pelligrini to these women will follow the advice we give to children.”
About Chris Heavens:
Chris Heavens is a Charleston, West Virginia, personal injury attorney. Heavens has successfully litigated sexual harassment and sexual assault cases. He represents victims in all types of cases involving physical, psychological and financial harm.For More Information:
Heavens Law Firm PLLC
2438 Kanawha Blvd East
Charleston, West Virginia 25311