Denver — Two women who say a male nurse sexually assaulted them while they were unconscious in intensive care filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the Colorado hospital where they were treated, alleging the hospital administration did not do enough to prevent the abuse.
The lawsuit — proposed as a class action — alleges that St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction and SCL Health and Intermountain Healthcare, the companies that ran the hospital, knew or should have known about the actions of the nurse, Christopher Lambros, who has been arrested and charged with sexual assault. Police say Lambros recorded himself sexually assaulting female patients while they were unconscious or incapacitated.
In at least one case,Lambros was allegedly caught taking a selfie with an unconscious female patient, whose dress had been pulled up, exposing her torso.
According to his arrest affidavit, on a day in June when Lambros took five videos of himself abusing a patient, he whispered into the camera, “don’t ever get rid of these videos” and “you have to keep them forever … this is the your collection Dexter.”
The lawsuit claims he was referring to the TV show “Dexter,” in which the main character is a serial killer, and says the comment shows he kept a collection of photos or videos of his victims.
According to court documents, prosecutors have identified three people they believe were assaulted by Lambros and believe a fourth person who has not yet been identified was assaulted in 2016. Lambros began working at St. Mary’s in 2012, according to the lawsuit.
Lambru’s attorney, Scott Burrill, did not return a call or email seeking comment.
In a statement, St. Mary’s said it is fully cooperating with the investigation into Lambro, but declined to comment on the lawsuit. “We cannot provide further details on this matter out of respect for patient privacy,” it said.
Siddhartha Rathod, one of the lawyers for the women who filed the suit, said they are the same women Lampros is accused of assaulting. He said the third identified victim has since died.
As part of the criminal case, prosecutors told his clients that investigators recovered four terabytes of data as evidence and are still investigating how many people were attacked, Rathod said. He said part of the reason the lawsuit is being filed is to encourage any other potential victims to come forward.
“This is about public safety and hospitals making sure their patients are not only safe, but treated with dignity and respect,” he said.
his company said in a press release that the four terabytes of data amounts to “approximately 700,000 cell phone photos or 65,000 hours of cell phone video,” and the company believes there could be a decade of potential victims.
In a statement, District Attorney Dan Rubenstein declined to comment on the evidence and what it might reveal. He noted that both the women’s attorneys and hospital representatives have contacted prosecutors as they try to navigate the “complicated situation” of protecting patient privacy laws and obtaining information needed to prosecute the criminal case.
“We can’t comment on what evidence we have, and we also can’t speculate on what we might find,” he said.
One of the women in the lawsuit said she was sexually abused as a child and is angry, stressed and depressed after being victimized again. She said she hasn’t received a single apology from the hospital, but continues to charge $905 each month from her bank account under a payment plan to pay the bill for her hospital stay. He also receives regular emails and billing reminders.
“It’s a slap in the face,” he said.
CBS News and the Associated Press generally do not identify people who say they have been sexually assaulted.