LIMA — His legal problems apparently behind him after a Lima Municipal Court jury found him guilty of fondling patients earlier this year, Dr. James Gideon is now facing civil lawsuits from a dozen women — all of whom allege they were groped by the physician during office visits.
Scheduling conferences were scheduled for Thursday in Allen County Common Pleas Court to address the suits filed by women from Toledo to Wapakoneta and points in between, all of whom are seeking punitive and compensatory damages of at least $25,000 against the Pandora doctor and the Northwest Ohio Rheumatology business in Bluffton where he practiced.
Gideon, a rheumatology and internal medicine physician, was found guilty by a Lima jury in April of three counts of sexual imposition, third-degree felonies, for allegedly groping female patients. Three additional sexual imposition charges, each based on similar complaints from other female patients, were dismissed by prosecutors just before the case went to trial.
The alleged acts took place in the spring and summer of 2017, the women told police.
Gideon was sentenced by Judge Tammie Hursh to 180 days in the Allen County jail.
Among the women filing lawsuits were Jane Doe I through Jane Doe VII. Those women hail from Toledo, Pandora (3), St. Marys, Findlay and Fostoria.
Other plaintiffs are Cynthia Wilson of Ada, Meghan Morgan of Toledo, Auna Allen of Wapakoneta, Kelly Becker of Fort Jennings and Josie Leingruber of Hoytville.
Seven different attorneys are representing the plaintiffs. All the lawsuits ask the court to award punitive damages of $25,000 to the respective plaintiffs. In nearly all cases, a jury trial has been requested.
Gideon is the lead defendant in all the cases. However, Northwest Ohio Rheumatology is also alleged to have contributed to the doctor’s alleged negligence and recklessness. Nearly all the plaintiffs allege assault, battery and emotional distress was inflicted upon them by Gideon.
The case filed on behalf of Jane Doe V of Pandora further alleges that Gideon’s actions led to a “loss of consortium” that impaired her quality of life and enjoyment of life with her spouse.
Leingruber, in her lawsuit, seeks $25,000 in damages in addition to “any and all insurance policies that may be applicable” to the doctor’s actions.
Reach J Swygart at 567-242-0464.