PROVO, Utah (ABC4) – Over 90 women are planning to appeal to the Utah Supreme Court next week over their lawsuit against a former Provo OB-GYN after a judge tossed out their complaint last year.
Heather P. and Ashton Sorenson are two of those women.
Heather says she met with Dr. David Broadbent for nearly 2 years, starting in 2005 when she was 20 years old and expecting her first child. She says he sexually harassed her that entire time.
“You didn’t know what was ever going to happen,” she said. “You didn’t know what he was going to touch next or what he was going to do.”
Sorenson says she was a student at Brigham Young University when Broadbent first treated her.
“Honestly, it only merited a conversation, and what I got was a full body exam, no gloves,” she said. “It was very extensive and painful.”
Along with 90-plus other women, Heather P. and Sorenson filed a lawsuit against Broadbent in 2022. The suit claims Broadbent caused his patients trauma, pain, anxiety, distress, and other emotional and physical trauma. The allegations go back to the 1980s and involve women from Utah, Colorado, Arizona, Kentucky, Idaho, Virginia, Nebraska, Maryland, Minnesota, and North Carolina.
The 4th District Court dismissed their case, claiming it was a medical malpractice suit rather than harassment. The attorneys of the victims, however, argued that the claims “arose out of sexual abuse,” and that “sexual abuse is not health care,” according to court documents.
Despite the case being dismissed, the court still noted in the way of analysis: “[T]he allegations paint a particularly appalling view of Dr. Broadbent and his conduct as an OB-GYN … Dr. Broadbent’s treatment of his patients is insensitive, disrespectful and degrading.”
“It doesn’t matter how horrific the assault was or how traumatizing, the fact that it was by a doctor during a healthcare visit, in a healthcare facility, that’s what they’re going off of,” Sorenson said.
These women are planning to appeal to the Utah Supreme Court on Oct. 20 to reinstate it.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen in the Supreme Court, but I know that by showing up with these strong women we can at the very least heal ourselves and raise awareness to the problems,” Heather said.
They say their hope is to stop something like this from happening to anyone else.