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Stanford Health Care Sued for Negligence | The Matiasic Firm

Stanford Health Care is facing allegations of negligence in a sexual abuse case involving a 16-year-old male patient who was allegedly assaulted by an anesthesiologist while sedated. The anesthesiologist, Robert Lastinger, pleaded no contest in regards to multiple counts of sexual battery in the case involving the 16-year-old patient, as well as instances involving three other male patients at Stanford Hospital’s Outpatient Surgery Center, located in Redwood City, CA between March and April of 2015. Lastinger, who was convicted of sexual battery in 2016 and sentenced to one year behind bars, allegedly fondled the patients while they were under anesthesia for routine surgery.

Attorney Paul Matiasic of The Matiasic Firm is representing the minor plaintiff, along with one other victim.

We all know the consequences of being a victim of sexual abuse can be profound, said Matiasic. They can be livelong. They can be searing.

The consequences of sexual abuse are extensive, far-reaching, and can affect not only the victim but his or her loved ones as well. The victim’s mother, who remained anonymous, echoed this sentiment, stating, “I sent my son to this reputable institution and thinking that he was going to get the best care possible, and I sent him into the lion's den.”

On behalf of his client, Attorney Matiasic alleges that the hospital acted negligently in its failure to report Lastinger’s predatory behavior for years. In fact, the lawsuit states that hospital staff, including Lastinger’s fellow anesthesia technicians, nurses, and doctors, all failed to report instances of abuse out of fear of retaliation. This fear of losing their jobs allegedly kept the hospital’s medical staff silent, despite ongoing abusive actions by Lastinger. The lawsuit claims that up to 25 Stanford Health Care employees, including supervisors, were aware of but failed to report Lastinger’s history of inappropriate conduct and abuse against young male patients. According to Attorney Matiasic, “Instead of sounding the alarm, they stuck their head in the sand.”

Stanford Health Care is defending its actions, insisting that it immediately took action—including removing Lastinger, contacting authorities, and launching an investigation—as soon as allegations of sexual abuse were brought to the hospital’s attention. However, one former Stanford Health Care employee, George Baez, is suing the hospital for wrongful termination after he reported Lastinger to the hospital and was let go a year later. Baez believes that his firing was retaliation for acting as a whistleblower. He also stated that Lastinger held an unofficial position of authority with a group of other Stanford Health Care staff members who often intimidated other employees when they reported complaints of wrongdoing by Lastinger. Stanford Health Care maintains that the two incidents—Baez’s reporting of Lastinger and his subsequent firing—are unrelated.