Identity of nurses becomes focal point in sexual harassment lawsuit against a Decatur doctor

The judge didn't issue an order during the hearing, but charged attorneys on both sides to come up with a solution.

Posted: Sep. 13, 2018 12:48 PM
Updated: Sep. 13, 2018 12:50 PM

The identity of three nurses named in a sexual assault lawsuit have become a focal point of the civil suit.

On Wednesday, lawyers argued their case over whether the names of the three nurses who worked under Rheumatologist Dr. Michael Dick should be a matter of public record. Currently, they’re referred to as “Fictitious Party Defendants A, B and C.”

Dick is facing a civil lawsuit brought by six women. In the 24-page complaint, the women alleged that Dick fondled the women and rubbed his genitals on them.

At the time of the hearing, 15 women had reached out to the lawyers for the plaintiffs. Attorneys told WAAY 31 that they are looking to amend the original complaint to add more victims.

Back on August 23, Dick’s attorneys filed a motion to seal the record of the identify. In their motion, attorneys state that the because the lawsuit has attracted so much attention from the news media, publication of their names would “bring harm to their families.”

The motion states that “The mental and emotion distress the publication of the true names of these ladies will cause to them and their young children is unwarranted.”

On Monday, the lawyers for the women bringing the suit argued in a court filing that the identities of the woman should be public record. They stated that the defense attorneys did not fully justify with “clear and convincing evidence” why the names should be sealed.

After hearing the arguments in a hearing Wednesday, the judge suggested that both sides try to come up with a protection order that both sides agree to instead of sealing the record.

Both sides have 30 days to come up with a singular suggestion or they will each submit their own version and the judge will work with that.

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