Judge OKs $15M settlement over rape of incapacitated woman at Hacienda Healthcare

A judge has approved a $15 million settlement against a doctor in a lawsuit filed by the parents of an incapacitated woman who was sexually assaulted and later gave birth at a Phoenix long-term care center, marking the last of several deals to resolve legal claims over the rape.

The settlement made on behalf of Dr. Phillip Gear, who cared for the woman for 26 years while she lived at Hacienda Healthcare, was deemed reasonable by a judge. Gear’s insurer, however, has argued it has no obligation to pay the amount, arguing in part that the doctor’s policy didn’t cover claims arising out of a sexual act.

Other settlements were previously made over the sexual assault. The state of Arizona, which contracts with companies like Hacienda to provide services to people with developmental disabilities, settled the case with the family last summer for $7.5 million.

Dr. Thanh Nguyen, who cared for the woman in the months before the surprise birth in December 2018, and a medical group also resolved claims against them last summer for an undisclosed amount. And Hacienda Healthcare agreed to settle for an undisclosed amount before the woman’s parents filed their lawsuit in late 2019.

Hacienda Healthcare Investigation

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