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Case proceeds against doctor accused of sexual misconduct
April hearing set to discuss motions to put hold on case
FARMINGTON — A Santa Fe judge has declined to dismiss claims in a civil lawsuit against Dr. Alan Emamdee and the San Juan Regional Medical Center filed by 12 former patients who accuse the doctor of sexual assaults and abuses.
District Judge David Thomson dismissed a motion Wednesday filed by attorneys for the San Juan Regional Medical Center and San Juan Health Partners which sought to dismiss many of the plaintiffs' claims, according to one of the plaintiffs' attorneys, Steve Murphy.
The 12 plaintiffs in the civil lawsuit are former patients of Emamdee, who worked at the San Juan Health Partners Behavioral Health Clinic and the hospital's Behavioral Health Unit.
In the complaint, the plaintiffs state Emamdee engaged in multiple acts of sexual misconduct and abuse with patients he was supposed to provide with psychiatric care.
It also states the San Juan Regional Medical Center and San Juan Health Partners, a division of the hospital, should have known or knew about Emamdee's behavior.
The lawsuit was filed in the First Judicial District of New Mexico on Oct. 4 and seeks an unspecified amount of damages for claims including denial of medical care, and physical and emotional injury.
The defendants' motion to dismiss was filed on Nov. 9. It requests that the court order the plaintiffs to amend the complaint to include details such as the names of the plaintiffs. The complaint uses the initials of the plaintiffs.
The plaintiffs' response filed on Dec. 18 requests that the motion be denied and the case move into the discovery phase, according to a copy of the response.
During discovery, both parties would seek and obtain evidence.
The next hearing in the case is set for April, according to Murphy. It will address two motions to stay the proceeding of the civil case which were filed by attorneys for the San Juan Regional Medical Center and Emamdee's attorney.
The hospital's motion was filed Jan. 17, and Emamdee's motion was filed Monday, according to court records. Emamdee's attorney, Alfred Park, declined to comment.
In the hospital's motion, it states the court should enter a complete stay of the lawsuit pending the resolution of the criminal investigation and proceedings against Emamdee.
Emamdee has been charged with six counts of criminal sexual penetration in the first degree and five counts of criminal sexual contact.
He is accused of sexually assaulting a 40-year-old female patient in his office for several months in 2016.
In another case, Emamdee is accused of telling a woman to perform oral sex on him in order to get her prescription pills.
A statement by the San Juan Regional Medical Center said a stay is necessary to protect the integrity of the criminal proceedings.
"We agree that justice is best served by allowing the San Juan County District Attorney’s Office to pursue their case before discovery begins in the civil lawsuit," the statement said.
The plaintiffs' response to the motion to stay the proceedings filed on Feb. 16 asks the judge to dismiss the motion and allow the case to proceed with discovery.
Murphy believes the criminal cases will go to trial this year and would not impact the trial for the civil lawsuit scheduled for August 2019.
Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at email@example.com.