MORGAN COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - The case involving a Decatur doctor accused of sexually assaulting his patients continues to expand.
More women have joined a lawsuit against Dr. Michael Dick, stepping forward with allegations that he sexually assaulted and harassed them during visits to his office.
Attorneys Nick Lough, Teri Mastando and Marcus Helstowski represent the patients. Nine women are involved in the lawsuit and six more will be added. They say they were inappropriately touched by Dr. Dick at his Alabama Medicine and Rheumatology clinic in Decatur.
“We have people coming from across North Alabama saying they’ve had the same interactions and same inappropriate actions made by this doctor. Every time a story is published, we get phone calls and some of the news stations have been getting phone calls too so it’s alarming how many people,” Nick Lough said.
On Wednesday in court, Dr. Dick’s lawyer, Joel Williams, pushed to not have the names of the nurses in Dick’s office put in court documents in order to protect their identities.
Williams said the case has been all over the news and he does not feel it should be tried in the media.
Once the names of the nurses are put in print in court filings and depositions and other materials, he says their names and pictures will be used by different news outlets, which poses a threat of harm and harassment to them, their families and their careers, Williams added.
“Someone could be harmed who was never even in an exam room,” he said in court.
But attorneys for the patients believe the employees knew what was going in and allowed it happen.
“We have reason to believe that the nurses did know what was going on and no action was taken. We talked about that in court today, the action these nurses didn’t take,” Lough stated.
Dr. Dick did not appear in court with his attorneys for the hearing.
“I think the right thing to do is to try the case in court rather than in the media. So thank you very much,” Williams said walking out of the courthouse.
Both sides agreed to work on a protection order to keep the nurses’ names out of court records until more evidence is brought to light in the case.
“We’re very early on in this case. We haven’t even scratched the surface of discovery,” Lough added. “We believe we know what happened and we have a good reason to believe it based on the statements of more than a dozen women with very similar complaints and treatment so we think we know what happened and as we get into discovery, it’s going to nail down a lot of those points that we already believe are fact.”
Attorneys for the patients say there’s multiple investigations into Dr. Dick by the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners and the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office and they expressed public safety concerns over the fact that he’s still practicing medicine in the Decatur community.
“We don’t want anyone else to be victimized by this man. We don’t want anyone to go through the same treatment that our victims already have,” Lough said. “We’re going to do whatever we can to make sure our victims get the justice they deserve.”