Malpractice suit filed against OMC, others

A medical malpractice lawsuit has been filed against Olympic Medical Center, among others, by a woman who is alleged in a criminal case to have been assaulted by former emergency department physician Josiah Hill.

The civil suit was filed in Clallam County Superior Court by Port Angles-based law firm Wolfley & Wolfely on behalf of their client who is one of the alleged victims in the criminal cases filed against Hill.

Hill has been charged with five counts of indecent liberties by a healthcare provider and one county of rape in the second degree. A trial date has been set for Jan. 22, 2024.

Hill appeared in court via Zoom along with his attorney Jared Ausserer on Friday, June 16, for a status hearing.

Prosecutor Michele Devlin told Judge Simon Barnhart that she had spoken with Ausserer and the two agreed on a secondary status hearing, now set for Aug. 18.

During the secondary hearing, Devlin and Ausserer would ask Barnhart to impose a deadline for the prosecution and defense to file legal motions in regard to the case.

The motions will be a matter of public record once they are filed.

Josiah Hill has been charged with five counts of indecent liberties by a healthcare provider and one count of second-degree rape.

He has been accused of assaulting multiple women while working as a physician in the emergency room at Olympic Medical Center.

Upon his arrangement in July 2022, he pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.

OMC’s response when comment was requested said that Hill was not an employee of OMC.

”OMC cannot comment about ongoing criminal and civil litigation other than to say OMC has cooperated with authorities in responding to inquiries about the claims against Dr. Hill. Dr. Hill was never an employee of OMC,” said hospital spokesperson Bobby Beeman, adding, “OMC remains committed to providing quality and safe care to our patients,”

OMC ended its contract with PESI in June 2022 and brought on Sound Physicians in the interim and then officially in October to be the emergency room service provider.

According to court documents and investigation materials from the state Department of Health on Feb. 23, 2022, the alleged victim was transported to the emergency room at OMC following a car wreck in which she sustained two broken ribs and the collapsing of her left lung.

Hill was the attending physician on staff and treated her injuries by inserting a tube into her lungs and administering a battery of medications including Dilantin and Fentanyl, according to the lawsuit.

“Defendant Hill diagnosed a perforated lung with a pneumothorax. This condition did not require or suggest the administration of opioids or the forcible and emergency insertion of a chest tube. Nevertheless, defendant Hill gave Plaintiff several administrations of fentanyl and he inserted a tube through her chest and into her lung, all of which were medically contraindicated,” reads the allegations in the suit.

“This was medical malpractice, as these services fell below the standard of care and caused her great harm.”

Once the woman was stabilized she was moved from the emergency room and into hospital care at OMC where Hill allegedly later molested and raped her, according to allegations in court documents.

“The medical services defendant Hill administered to her were for the criminal and unlawful purpose of sexually molesting her in the emergency room and then raping her after her admission into defendant OMC,” the filing said.

“Defendant Hill meandered openly out of the emergency department, located plaintiff in her room and in full display to OMC employees and the charge nurse nearby, entered the plaintiff’s room and over the course of an hour and 13 minutes repeatedly raped her and molested her.”

The suit alleges that OMC employees failed to protect the woman despite knowing that Hill had no right, privilege, or legitimate purpose for being in the woman’s hospital room once she was moved from the emergency department.

State Department of Health investigation documents said that at one point a nurse came into the room to check the woman’s vitals and caught Hill in the act of molesting her.

“The charge nurse saw him in the room but was apparently confused as to why the self-identified ‘ER Doctor’ was in her room when he clearly had no business being there,” reads the filing.

”She (the nurse) was not trained to deal with the situation and removed herself from the room. It fell below a reasonable standard of care to fail to train nurses to assess such situations and otherwise take steps to protect disabled patients from harm from both employees and third parties.”

The suit also alleges negligence on the part of OMC for its hiring practices.

“It is alleged that defendant OMC breached its independent duties of care to the plaintiff, and was negligent in failing to supervise defendant Hill and conducting proper research in the hiring of defendant Hill — OMC knew or should have known sexual crime allegations had been made against defendant Hill in Florida,” reads the suit.

Hill earned his medical degree from the University of South Florida and did his residency at Tampa General Hospital.

In January, ABC Action News Tampa spoke to a woman who said she had been sexually assaulted by Hill while he was a resident at Tampa General Hospital in 2018.

Tampa police investigated the woman’s allegations against Hill, by going to Hill’s Tampa home for an interview. According to the report, Hill initially agreed to the interview, but put a stop to it part way through in order for legal counsel to be present.

Tampa police were later told that Hill would not grant them an interview under the advice of legal counsel.