Cleveland Clinic hit with sex assault whistle-Blower suit

Scott Graham, a surgical assistant in the heart unit of the renowned Cleveland Clinic, filed suit against the clinic—plus affiliated Lakewood and Fairview hospitals—for retaliating against him after he reported alleged sexual assaults by head surgeon Dr. Baldev Sekhon.

A nurse allegedly told Graham that Sekhon had tried to pursue a relationship with her, whom she rebuffed, and that he had raped her in his office.

When Graham reported the incident to the heart team’s director, he says no action was taken. During the next two months, Graham reported the incident to officials at Fairview and Lakewood as well. Their only response, Graham says, was to shun him, cut his hours, reduce his pay by nearly half and assign him to undesirable jobs.

Graham further alleges that during this time, five other staff members told him Sekhon had sexually assaulted them. Sekhon was eventually fired, but only after Graham sent an e-mail to a clinic official.

Final note: Companies learning of possible criminal behavior should act swiftly to remove any potential threats to employees. They should also refrain from punishing the messenger and act to ensure other staff members don’t retaliate either.