Civil trial date set to hear sex assault claims

CLINTON — A jury trial is slated for July 2021 for a civil suit filed against Dr. Anis Ansari, Medical Associates and Mercy Medical Center.

Chief District Judge Marlita Greve on Aug. 9 ordered a jury trial be set for July 26, 2021, in a civil lawsuit filed by Tina M. Conrad against Medical Associates, Mercy Medical Center Clinton, and Ansari. A settlement conference is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. June 17. The trial is expected to last 10 days.

Conrad on March 6, through attorney Roxanne Conlin, filed a petition and jury demand against Ansari, Medical Associates of Clinton and Mercy Medical Center-Clinton, Inc.

Ansari and Medical Associates both filed answers to the petition June 24 through attorney David Pillers of Pillers & Richmond.

Mercy Medical Center-Clinton filed an answer to the petition June 25 through attorney Desiree Kilburg of Shuttleworth & Ingersoll, P.L.C.

The petition alleges common law sexual assault, common law assault and battery and tortious infliction of emotional distress, against all defendants. The petition alleges failure to properly screen, supervise and discipline and premises liability against Mercy.

The petition says at all times material to the petition Ansari was an employee of Medical Associates and had privileges at Mercy. The petition states that on Dec. 11, 2017, Conrad was treated for a heart attack at Mercy Medical Center in Clinton. Ansari, Conrad’s primary care doctor, went to Mercy Medical Center to check on her, according to the petition. The petition contends Ansari had never come to a hospital to check on Conrad during any of her previous visits. The petition continues Conrad told Ansari she was having a heart attack when Ansari asked why Conrad was in the hospital.

The petition states Ansari said he was going to check Conrad’s stomach due to Conrad’s history of pancreas issues. The petition says Ansari lifted Conrad’s gown and checked on her stomach. The petition contends Ansari then improperly touched Conrad. Conrad immediately told Ansari to leave and hit the nurse call button, the petition says. The petition states Conrad was sedated because she was in a state of shock. The petition says Conrad reported the incident to Mercy’s director of patient experience and risk management and that Conrad was assured Ansari was escorted off the premises.

The petition under count two, common law assault and battery, states Ansari’s conduct put Conrad in reasonable and serious apprehension of a harmful and offensive contact against her.

Ansari in the answer denied improperly touching Conrad. He also denied stating he was going to check Conrad’s stomach due to her history of pancreas issues. He denied lifting Conrad’s gown and checking on her stomach.

Ansari also denied all allegations under count two, common law assault and battery. Ansari admitted he was Conrad’s primary care doctor but denied he went to Mercy to check on Conrad.

The petition under count four, failure to properly screen, supervise and discipline states Mercy created an agency relationship by contracting with Ansari to provide physician services to its patients.

“Defendant Mercy was negligent or reckless in assigning Defendant Ansari to a position where he could assault patients in their hospital rooms and reckless in allowing Defendant Ansari to remain in a position where he was at risk of harming others after his conduct was disclosed,” the petition states.

Mercy Medical Center-Clinton, in addition to the denials, submitted three defenses. The answer states Iowa Code Chapter 668 applies to this case, adding the fault of other parties should bar or comparatively reduce the claims against Mercy. The answer continues that any injury or damage suffered by Conrad is or may be the result of acts of others over which Mercy had no control or responsibility. The answer states the sole proximate cause of Conrad’s damages, if any, was caused by acts, omissions or conditions for which Mercy is not responsible.