A Santa Monica physician and his clinic, the , are being sued over allegations that he engaged in inappropriate conduct during breast examinations. The lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Thursday by two of the doctor's ex-patients.
Dr. Lawrence H. Resnick "engaged in inappropriate, unprofessional and offensive conduct" during the exams, according to the lawsuit. Also in the suit, Angela Crickman and Lisa Grebe claim that Bay Area Community Medical Group, their HMO, knew about Resnick's alleged history of such behavior but referred them to the doctor anyway. Crickman is making similar allegations toward Peak Medical Group Inc., her primary health care provider.
The Medical Board of California issued a public reprimand against Resnick in December 2007.
Resnick was flirtatious and suggestive, according to Crickman and Grebe. Crickman alleges he "made numerous inappropriate comments about her physical appearance" while conducting an ultrasound exam of her breast, while Grebe says the doctor "engaged in sexually offensive," conduct during an exam. Also, Resnick allegedly kissed Grebe on the cheek.
Crickman and Grebe are claiming that Resnick intentionally inflicted emotional distress and negligence upon them.
“In the fight against breast cancer, it is well-known that early detection and diagnosis is critically important," said Gregory D. Helmer, an attorney representing Crickman and Grebe. "While these are allegations at this point, it is obviously critical that there be nothing—including the conduct of a physician—that might discourage patients from seeking diagnostic examinations.”