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Charleston Medical Center Pays $23 Million Sex Abuse Settlement

Charleston Medical Center Pays $23 Million Sex Abuse Settlement

May 11, 2021 — The Charleston Area Medical Center has agreed to a $23 million settlement with at least 2,500 women who claim they were sexually assaulted during colonoscopy exams by Steven Matulis, a former gastroenterologist.

Matulis was originally charged with sexual assault in April 2016, when a former patient accused him of fondling her breasts and vagina while she was under anesthesia during a colonoscopy.

Nurses and technicians testified that they would put a star next to the names of women they believed Matulis would target for sexual abuse.

Matulis also took photos of patients’ tattoos for his personal use while they were under anesthesia. Matulis was also the only doctor to clean and wipe female patients after a colonoscopy as a way to abuse them.

A jury convicted Matulis of 1st-degree sexual abuse in October 2018 and sentenced him to 5 years in prison.

Last week, Kanawha County Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey gave final approval to a $23 million class action lawsuit settlement involving about 2,500 women who had a colonoscopy at Charleston Area Medical Center between 2010 and 2016.

Each women who accepts the settlement is expected to receive about $5,000. Only 9 of the 2,500 class members opted out, attorneys said.

The settlement is separate from another settlement in July 2020, in which Judge Bailey approved an $890,000 payout for 372 women who were abused by Matulis at the Charleston Day Surgery Center.

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