Suit alleges doctor seduced, harassed former patient

July 17, 1998|By Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan | Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan,SUN STAFF

An Arnold gynecologist the state barred from practicing last June for having sexual relations with a patient now faces a lawsuit from the woman, who alleges that he seduced her under the guise of helping her get over the trauma of a stillbirth.

The 32-year-old woman, who sued in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court this week using a fictitious name, accuses the doctor of harassing her with phone calls after he delivered her stillborn child at Anne Arundel Medical Center June 25, 1995, and enticing her to have sex with him near her baby's grave in February 1996. The woman, who lived in Annapolis at the time, and her ex-husband are seeking $40 million in damages.

Dr. David Lee Joyce, 44, of the 1200 block of Cavalier Road in Arnold, worked at Annapolis OB/GYN Associates, a prominent private practice where another gynecologist, Jeffrey Briggs, was similarly suspended in 1992 for having sex with five patients.

Joyce did not return phone calls and could not be reached. The woman, who now lives in Charleston, S.C., and her ex-husband, a 31-year-old Annapolis engineer, declined to comment.

"This is total violation of a patient's trust," said her lawyer Marvin Ellin. Joyce "took advantage of an emotionally distraught, grief-stricken woman."

The Maryland Board of Physician Quality Assurance took emergency action to suspend Joyce's license June 22 last year after it received and investigated the woman's complaint, said Charles Cichon, the board's chief compliance analyst.

Cichon said immediate suspensions are very rare and the board pTC issues summary suspensions only once or twice a year.

"In my experience, I don't recall two physicians being sanctioned for that type of conduct out of the same practice," Cichon said. "It doesn't make any difference whether it's a consensual relationship. It's still a violation as long as the person's a patient of the physician."

Pub Date: 7/17/98

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