Former patients allege inappropriate conduct in pain clinic - WSMV Channel 4

Former patients allege inappropriate conduct in pain clinic

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Three former patients of a now-closed pain clinic in Springfield are making claims of inappropriate touching or conduct by two staff members.

One of the former patients, Faye Partee, is suing the former lead doctor of the clinic, Dr. Donald Boatright, for sexual battery.

In the lawsuit, Partee said she was contacted by employees of Medical Necessities, Inc. in Springfield and told she would need to come by to get her medicine refilled.

On Jan. 3, Partee said she went in and, according to the lawsuit, was surprised to learn that she would need a breast examination first by Dr. Donald Boatright, a physician whom she had never seen.

"He said, 'take off that pretty sweater and bra,'" Partee quotes Boatright as saying.

Partee states in the lawsuit there was no other staff member in the room, and that Boatright then fondled her breasts and squeezed so hard that fluid came out.

In the lawsuit, Partee said she underwent several breast exams in her life and this procedure was totally different.

Partee said in the lawsuit that she could see he was sexually aroused, and she ran out of the office and rushed home.

"I took a shower until my hot water heater - until my heat ran out. I felt so filthy and degraded and surprised. Devastated," Partee said.

Partee said she was out of her pain medicine for her fibromyalgia, and she had no choice but to go back to Boatright in February.

Partee said Boatright then suggested she go to a psychiatrist to prove why she needed some of her pain medicine.

At that point, Partee said she decided to file a police report.

"No one has the right to put their hands on my body," Partee said.

Partee said she knew it was her word against his, so she decided to file a civil lawsuit claiming against Boatright and Medical Necessities, Inc. for sexual battery.

What Partee didn't know is that two other women were also grappling with what they say happened to them in the same clinic.

Joanne Hulka said she went to Medical Necessities, Inc. for pain management and saw a male nurse practitioner.

"He was feeling my back, my spine, and went down my buttocks and grabbed my behind," Hulka said.

Hulka said her young son was also in the room at the time.

"My son knew something was wrong. He (her son) had a pen, about to stab that man," Hulka said.

Hulka said even when she told the nurse practitioner that she didn't feel pain her in buttocks, he still continued to grab.

The Channel 4 I-Team is not naming the nurse practitioner because he is not named in a lawsuit.

"I've never seen anybody examine someone like that," Hulka said.

Another former patient, Brenda Turnley, said she'd never had an exam like the one she got from that same nurse reactionary.

After being a patient at the clinic for years, Turnley said she was suddenly asked to do something she had never been asked before.

"He (the nurse practitioner) had the nerve to ask me to lift my shirt," Turnley said.

Turnley said she only lifted the back of her shirt all while pointing out that her chart that contained her complete history at the clinic, showed why she needed the medicine.

"You have my chart. Why should I raise my shirt up?" Turnley asked.

Partee's attorney said they have another female patient who also said she was touched inappropriately by that same nurse practitioner at the clinic.

Partee's lawsuit stated that the clinic did not properly supervise the activities of the employees allowing sexual battery.

When the Channel 4 I-Team went to the clinic in October, we found empty rooms, trash, an closet full of medicine left open, and Boatright's name still on the door.

A former co-owner of the clinic said they closed for insurance reasons.

The Channel 4 I-Team went back a few weeks ago, and found another clinic had opened up. Dr. Boatright was no longer there, but the nurse practitioner is working there.

The nurse practitioner would only talk to us through a door in the lobby.

"Two former patients have come to us and said in appropriate things have happened while they were your patients," asked chief investigative reporter Jeremy Finley.

"Not...but not from me," the nurse practitioner said.

"From you, is what they are telling us, while they were patients of yours," Finley said.

"You've got your facts all wrong," the nurse practitioner said.

The Channel 4 I-Team tried repeatedly to speak with Boatright, but his attorney, Chris Tardio, denied our repeated requests for an interview.

Tardio did send us a statement saying in part, "Dr. Boatright denies any allegation that he acted at all inappropriately during his treatment of Ms. Partee....As for the other allegations, he denies that he in any way encouraged or condoned inappropriate treatment by other staff members."

Partee said so many women, telling similar stories of inappropriate behavior, indicates there's a problem.

"I want to make sure that they will never, ever be able to do this again," Partee said.

The Channel 4 I-Team did leave a message for the former co-owner of Medical Necessities, Inc., but he did not return our call for comment.

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