BEAVERTON, Ore. (KOIN) — Two women who claim they were sexually abused by a Beaverton nurse are suing the suspect’s former employer, Kaiser Permanente.
Alex Matthew Woolner, 37, was arrested earlier this month and charged with sexually abusing patients and accessing their cell phones.
The women filed a lawsuit against Kaiser for not properly investigating allegations of sexual abuse and for failing to train its employees on how to handle such claims.
The lawsuit also accuses Kaiser of failing to report the allegations to police.
Kaiser Permanente Northwest issued the following statement Monday:
“The safety of our patients is our highest priority, and we have no tolerance for behavior that puts patients at risk. We are dedicated to ensuring that our care centers are safe and welcoming places of healing. We are reviewing our operations and policies to identify any additional steps we can take in the future to make sure we’re doing all we can to protect our patients’ safety. As there are legal processes underway, we will work within court system to determine the facts in this case.”
An investigation into the alleged sexual abuse started in January.
Beaverton police say Woolner, who lives in North Plains, victimized “female patients that came to Kaiser Permanente for medical treatment.”
He reportedly had direct contact with patients from January 1 – February 29.
Woolner is accused of accessing victims’ medical records and obtaining their personal cell phone numbers. He would then text and call the victims to recommend additional medical procedures. He reportedly instructed them to call him directly, not Kaiser.
“The initial investigation involved allegations that Woolner abused his position by having contact with the victim, both physical and verbal, which was sexual in nature and which subjected the victim to an unnecessary and intrusive exam,” police said.
Woolner has since been released from Washington County Jail.