$585K to be paid in sex harassment suit against ‘TikTok doc’
Portland, Ore. – Oregon Health and Science University said Tuesday it will pay $585,000 to settle a federal lawsuit filed by a social worker who accused a former anesthesiology resident of sexually assaulting her and the school of failing to act.
The university said in a statement that the woman will be invited to participate in former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s independent investigation of OHSU’s handling of sexual misconduct and discrimination complaints, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.
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She alleged in the lawsuit that Dr. Jason Campbell harassed her from January through March of 2020 – sending her a pornographic photo of himself and sexually charged text messages and then creeping up behind her and forcibly pressing himself against her.
Campbell had generated millions of social media views with his viral dance videos during the pandemic and was dubbed the TikTok Doc. The Associated Press is not identifying the woman because it does not generally identify alleged victims of sexual abuse.
“OHSU offers sincere apologies to the plaintiff and others who have been harmed,” the university’s statement said. “OHSU recognizes the need to address systemic structures that allow inappropriate and damaging behavior to exist, and is committed to creating a safe and inclusive environment that is free of harassment and discrimination.”
A university investigation concluded Campbell violated the institution’s harassment policy and code of conduct with unwanted touching and inappropriate messages. Campbell was referred for dismissal but resigned in on Oct. 23 instead of being fired, according to the university.
John Kaempf, a former lawyer for Campbell, wrote to the plaintiff’s lawyers that Campbell denied liability and was deeply in debt.
The social worker had filed her lawsuit against Campbell and the university in February in U.S. District Court in Portland, seeking $45 million in damages.
Campbell left the university and was due to start a residency at the University of Florida Health but that school has announced it was placing Campbell on paid leave pending its own investigation.