JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Baptist Health is facing a lawsuit about a doctor who was accused of exposing himself and masturbating on a patient during a check-up two years ago. Not because of what happened but because his employers knew the same doctor was accused of sexual misconduct five years earlier.
Dr. Om Kapoor, 47, was arrested in early 2018 and charged with battery and exposure of sexual organs. The arrest warrants said a male patient heard moaning and then “felt a wet substance hit the back of his leg" during a visit to the Kapoor in December 2017. The physician resigned after Baptist Health suspended him and Kapoor was forbidden from treating male patients without supervision after state Surgeon General Celeste Philip imposed an emergency restriction on his license on Feb. 1, 2018.
According to the emergency order restricting his access to male patients, the incident in 2012 was not reported to the Department of Health.
But the lawsuit alleges the hospital knew about the previous of misconduct complaint filed with the Florida Department of Health five years earlier and did not do anything to stop the misconduct from happening again. The suit against both Kapoor and Baptist Health shines a light on the alleged missteps of the hospital and alleges the company was negligent in keeping Kapoor on staff.
A report from the Jacksonville Sheriffs Office and a report from the Department of Health shows a risk manager at Baptist Hospital reported Kappor engaged in sexual misconduct with a 20-year-old male patient in 2012. JSO records show the case from 2012 didn’t move forward because the victim refused to cooperate.
Jacksonville attorney Rhonda Peoples-Waters said the hospital’s liability depends on what they did after learning about the misconduct in 2012.
"The next question is: What did the employer, what did Baptist do to conduct their own investigation? They would have some responsibility to conduct their own investigation as to whether or not their employee imposed further harm to the public or any patients,” Waters said.
The attorney for the unnamed patient says “had [the hospital] met its duty [...] in response to the incident in 2012 - this incident in 2017 [...] would not have happened.”
Baptist Health released the following statement:
“Baptist Health is committed to ensuring quality care and safety for all patients. When a patient complaint was made about Dr. Kapoor in 2012, Baptist Health promptly reported the matter to local law enforcement and the Department of Health. We are not privy to the details of those agencies’ investigations, but he was permitted to continue to practice in Florida without restriction. Dr. Kapoor resigned his privileges in 2018 and no longer practices at Baptist Health. We take any allegations, especially accusations of this nature, very seriously.”Baptist Health