Woman sues doctor, alleging he abused her

July 31, 1993|By Eric Siegel | Eric Siegel,Staff Writer Staff writer Jonathan Bor contributed to this article.

A former female patient of Dr. Neil Solomon yesterday sued the high-profile chairman of three state health commissions, accusing him of improperly forcing her to ingest vials of mind-altering drugs and engaging in a sexual relationship with her.

In a lawsuit filed in Baltimore Circuit Court, the patient charged that Dr. Solomon had induced her to engage in sex with him on numerous occasions since he began treating her for an unspecified condition in 1988.

In addition, the patient charged that Dr. Solomon asked her during therapy sessions to "perform grossly deviant and offensive sexual practices."

Judge Andre M. Davis ordered her name sealed in court papers and she is identified only as "Jane Roe" in the lawsuit.

Paul Walter, an attorney for Dr. Solomon, last night branded the charges in the lawsuit as "outrageous.

"Dr. Solomon has absolutely nothing to fear from that lawsuit. He's done nothing wrong," Mr. Walter said.

Mr. Walter termed the allegations that Dr. Solomon -- who chairs the Governor's Commission on Drug and Alcohol Abuse -- improperly provided drugs to a patient "a particularly egregious wrong." He vowed to "explore every possibility of counter measures" on behalf of his client, including defamation of character and wrongful abuse of process.

In addition to chairing the drug and alcohol abuse commission, Dr. Solomon chairs the Governor's Commission on AIDS and the Health Care Reform Commission.

A former Maryland secretary of Health and Mental Hygiene, Dr. Solomon writes a syndicated medical column that is distributed nationally by the Los Angeles Times Syndicate and appears weekly in The Evening Sun.

He recently announced he is exploring a possible run for governor in 1994 and maintains a private practice Towson specializing in endocrinology, or hormonal disorders.

Joseph L. Harrison, deputy press secretary to Gov. William Donald Schaefer, said yesterday that the governor was out of town and unavailable for comment.

The suit seeks $50 million in damages. Joanne L. Suder, the woman's attorney, said yesterday that her client lives in Baltimore County but declined further comment on the suit.

According to the suit, while she was undergoing treatment, the patient began working in Dr. Solomon's office. During that time, the suit alleges, the patient learned that Dr. Solomon was "engaging in similar activities with other patients" and said he had "devised a code for tracking his sexual liaisons" on his desk diary.

Dr. Solomon threatened to physically hurt her if she revealed his misdeeds, the suit alleges.

Because of Dr. Solomon's conduct, the suit charges, the patient suffered a recent nervous breakdown and told her husband about her alleged sexual relationship with Dr. Solomon.

The woman's husband urged her to come forward, the suit says.

The patient's husband, whose name was also sealed by order of Judge Davis, is a co-plaintiff in the suit. He was also being treated by Dr. Solomon, the suit says, although the nature of his treatment, like that of his wife's, was also not disclosed.

The suit accuses Dr. Solomon of violating "a duty of care not to interfere with his [the husband's] marital relations with his wife."

Also named as a defendant is Dr. Marc B. Lipton, whom the suit identifies as a licensed psychologist.

Jane Roe told Dr. Lipton of her relationship with Dr. Solomon, the suit alleges, but Dr. Lipton negligently referred her to continue her treatments with Dr. Solomon. Efforts to reach Dr. Lipton for comment yesterday were unsuccessful.

It alleges that Dr. Solomon gave the patient "psychoactive drugs . . . prior to these acts to diminish her ability to resist his advances."

On other occasions, the suit charges, Dr. Solomon induced the patient "to consume two fifths of sparkling wine prior to the sexual contacts in order to diminish her ability to resist his advances."

Dr. Solomon also negligently informed the patient that their alleged unprotected sexual encounters, as well as the drugs and alcohol he allegedly provided her, were not harmful to her health, the suit says.

In addition to the civil lawsuit filed yesterday, an identical case was filed before the state Health Claims Arbitration Office, which handles medical malpractice claims.

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