Lawsuit alleges former UNMC physician of touching patient under anesthesia

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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A lawsuit against a former doctor with Nebraska Medicine alleges him to have touched a patient inappropriately while under anesthesia.

The physician is no longer associated with the medical center but a lawsuit claims he stayed for months after warning signs appeared.

Dr. Mark Dietrich specializes in knee surgery but a lawsuit alleges during an operation two years ago at Nebraska Medical Center, he reached up to touch a patient’s private area. The lawsuit claims the patient was under anesthesia and didn’t know what happened until almost a year later.

The suit claims the patient received a call from representatives of the Nebraska Medical Center and they claim someone was present in the operating room and witnesses Dietrich allegedly inappropriately touching her.

The suit alleges someone had reported that Dietrich had touched the woman’s genitals with his ungloved hand while she was under anesthesia. That witness didn’t intervene or make note of it on her medical chart. The patient had two follow up visits with the doctor unaware of what allegedly happened.

The patient’s attorney, Maren Lynn Chaloupka said, “Nebraskans and people who come to Nebraska for medical care need to be able to trust that hospitals are informing them about concerns with the physicians that will be operating on them.”

A record search under Dietrich’s name found an earlier lawsuit alleging him of fondling a different female patient under anesthesia. That suit filed six months before this one and this woman’s attorney claims was a red flag and that the Medical Center allowed Dietrich to operate on her client.

The Nebraska Medical Center sent this statement, “Because of pending litigation we cannot talk further about the circumstances. Nebraska Medicine holds physicians and staff to the highest professional standards and the safety of our patients is our top priority.”