A Call for Witnesses: Survivors of Alleged Abuser Dr. Dennis Feihel
PCVA is seeking anyone with information about sexual abuse perpetuated by Dr. Dennis Feihel of New York City. Dr. Feihel has been accused of sexually abusing a patient while working at Lenox Hill Hospital, which is part of the Northwell Health network of healthcare facilities. No details of the abuse are available at this time.
This article provides further details about Dr. Dennis Feihel as well as information about sexual abuse perpetuated by healthcare professionals and what you can do if you or someone you know is a victim. If you have information about allegations of abuse perpetrated by Dr. Feihel, contact one of our experienced attorneys.
Who is Dr. Dennis Feihel?
Dr. Dennis Feihel is an internal medicine and primary care physician who is licensed to practice in New York. He specializes in treating LGBTQ+ people, with a focus on gay and bisexual men’s health, and has certifications from the America Board of Internal Medicine and the American Academy of HIV Medicine. He graduated medical school from SUNY Downstate School of Medicine and completed his residency at Northwell Health’s Lenox Hill Hospital. He also served as Chief Medical Resident at Lenox Hill Hospital.
According to his profile on LinkedIn, Dr. Feihel may currently be employed by Northwell Health as an attending physician. He also may be an assistant professor of medicine at Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra University/Northwell Health.
What is Dr. Feihel accused of?
Dr. Feihel allegedly abused a patient of his in March 2023 while working in the capacity of a physician. No other information about the abuse has been released publicly. PCVA is seeking anyone who may have information about Dr. Feihel and allegations of abuse or sexual misconduct. If you or someone you know may have pertinent information, please use our online form to contact us.
How often do doctors sexually abuse patients?
Relationships where there is an inherent power differential, such as teacher and student or coach and player, are sometimes exploited by the party who has more authority, resulting in sexual abuse. This applies to the doctor-patient relationship as well.
According to one study on physicians and sexual abuse, between January 2003 and September 2013, fewer than 0.1% of all licensed physicians in the U.S. were disciplined for sexual misconduct. However, this number only reflects instances where sexual abuse was reported. It is likely that doctor-patient sexual abuse occurs more frequently yet is underreported for a number of reasons.
One of the main reasons experts believe physician-patient sexual abuse is underreported is because patients may feel shame or guilt about the abuse. They may also feel like they wouldn’t be believed because of the significant power imbalance between doctors and patients. Patients also may not know how to navigate the regulatory bureaucracy to report the abuse to the appropriate authorities, including the state medical board.
Even when medical boards do take action against physicians for committing sexual abuse, those physicians often continue to practice. According to a 2016 nationwide investigation of thousands of medical board orders for physicians who were disciplined for sexually abusing patients or other sex-related offenses since 1999 found that more than one-half of these physicians were still licensed to practice.
How does sexual abuse impact patients?
Even if there is no outward injury to the body, sexual abuse can have serious psychological effects.
The effects of sexual violence can include:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Panic attacks
- Substance abuse
- Disordered sleep
- Sexual dysfunction
These are serious issues that can harm a person’s ability to work, study, maintain relationships and enjoy their lives the way they used to. Treatment for sexual abuse-related damage can take a long time and become very expensive.
Who is responsible for Dr. Feihel’s alleged sexual abuse?
In New York, a doctor’s employer has a responsibility to ensure that patients are safe when seeking treatment and using its facilities. The employer should be held responsible if its employee commits crimes that harm patients and the employer either knew or should have known that the employee posed a danger.
While it is too early to tell what Dr. Feihel’s employer may or may not have known, it merits an investigation to determine whether the medical facility was negligent in its actions.
How long do I have to file a lawsuit in New York if I was sexually assaulted or abused?
The New York Adult Survivors Act gives certain deadlines for survivors of sexual abuse to file lawsuits regarding abuse they suffered as an adult. The deadlines fall into two categories.
Survivors have until they reach the age of 55 to file a lawsuit against the perpetrator and an institution if:
- The abuse occurred after 2018, or
- They were under the age of 21 as of February 14, 2018
Other survivors had until November 23 to file under the Adult Survivors Act. There is legislative discussion about possibly reopening the window in the future or future statutory reform. We are happy to speak to you about your options and rights.
Can I come forward or sue anonymously if I’m worried about my privacy?
Most likely. The law usually allows attorneys to file lawsuits on behalf of survivors of sexual abuse using a pseudonym, like “John Doe” or “Jane Doe,” or our client’s initials. Moreover, it may be possible to resolve your case privately without filing a lawsuit or going to court.
How can survivors receive damages for sexual abuse?
Our attorneys have been involved in some of the most complicated and concerning sexual abuse cases in the country and are often consulted by other law firms for guidance and expertise when representing sexual abuse survivors. We take a trauma-informed approach to our representation that acknowledges the sensitive nature of these cases.
Every case is different and results – which depend on the facts of the case – cannot be guaranteed. However, we will fight to hold accountable the institutions and individuals who failed to protect survivors. Through our efforts, we have helped recover hundreds of millions of dollars in damages on behalf of abuse survivors. While no amount of monetary compensation can erase the trauma of abuse, the financial assistance can help pay for necessary expenses to allow the healing process to begin.
If you or someone you know has experienced sexual abuse or assault at the hands of Dr. Dennis Feihel, our attorneys are here to listen and help. Learn more about how we help sexual abuse survivors or schedule a no obligation consultation with one of our lawyers by completing our online form or by calling us at (206) 536-2850.
How much do you charge?
Our work is done on a contingency basis. This means that you do not pay us on an hourly basis, and we advance the costs of litigation. If we help you resolve your case, we receive a percentage of the amount you receive, and you reimburse us for the costs we advanced on your behalf.
Our Case Results
PCVA has a lengthy history of pursuing damages from healthcare institutions that employed healthcare professionals who abused their positions of authority to sexually assault patients. Most recently, we are pursuing dozens of claims against notorious sexual predator and former New York City urologist Dr. Darius Paduch. You can learn more about this case and its most recent developments here.
Some additional results we have achieved for our clients are listed below.
Confidential Settlements Reached in Pediatric Endocrinologist Sexual Abuse Case Against Rockefeller University Hospital
$8M Settlement Reached in Foss Home and Village Sex Abuse Lawsuit
$7.5M Settlement Reached in Coach Sexual Abuse Case Against Black Hills Football Club
$4.9M Settlement Reached in Toutle River Boys Ranch Sex Abuse Lawsuit
$4.2M Settlement Reached in Coach Sexual Abuse Case Against University Place School District
$1.4M Settlement Reached in Washington Department of Social and Health Services Foster Services Sex Abuse Lawsuit