Provo-based OB-GYN Dr. David Broadbent is being sued over allegations that he sexually assaulted female patients during appointments over the course of three decades, according to a complaint filed in Fourth District Court last week.
Plaintiffs Jane Doe B.B., Jane Doe A.S., Jane Doe S.P. and Jane Doe W.D. are Broadbent’s former patients who came forward with allegations of sexual assault and sexual battery between 1996 and 2018 that they said occurred in his private practice office on north University Avenue near Cougar Boulevard.
“A woman is rarely more vulnerable than when she is laying on an exam table, unclothed, trusting a male gynecologist to provide her with the medical care she needs,” the complaint reads, adding that Broadbent “took advantage of his position, Plaintiffs’ vulnerability, and that relationship of trust as he sexually battered and abused Plaintiffs and numerous other women over the course of three decades.”
One of the plaintiffs spoke about her experience with Broadbent in a Mormon Stories podcast released on Dec. 21, 2021. After the other plaintiffs reached out to her after hearing the podcast, court documents say she realized that she was not the victim of an isolated event, “but rather a series of abuses at the hands of a sexual predator,” according to court documents.
Court documents say one of the women, Jane Doe S.P., first met with Broadbent in 2008 when she was 19 years old because she heard she needed a “premarital exam” and saw that Broadbent’s office was right next to her apartment complex. Premarital exams are not much different than a woman’s first gynecological exam and typically include a pap smear, according to University of Utah Health. A woman may also discuss contraceptive options with her doctor before having sex for the first time.
According to court documents, Jane Doe S.P. was told to undress, put on a gown and lie on the table for the exam — nervous and unsure what to expect when Broadbent walked in. “Without asking any questions, explaining what he was going to do, or giving any warning, Broadbent reached up Jane Doe S.P.’s gown and cupped both of her breasts at the same time.”
Broadbent later stuck his fingers into the plaintiff’s vagina with no warning or explanation and then caught her off guard by suddenly doing a rectal exam, according to the documents, all without saying or explaining anything.
After Broadbent finished the exam and was removing his gloves, the documents said he told the plaintiff “Well, your husband is a lucky man.”
Court documents say Jane Doe S.P. felt violated but blamed herself, thinking she should have known the appointment would include a rectal exam. “For years, Jane Doe S.P. felt uncomfortable and violated, but she never told anyone — not even her husband,” the documents say. “As she went to other OB-GYN’s, she felt some validation in her feelings and realized Broadbent’s actions were abnormal.”
Other plaintiffs listed in the complaint went to Broadbent for things like prenatal and routine gynecological exams and had similar experiences, according to court documents.
Plaintiffs’ attorney Adam Sorenson said more people have come out to his firm with claims against Broadbent now that the story is getting out. Individuals who want to be part of the lawsuit will be added as additional plaintiffs.
Sorenson said the goal of the legal action was to help the four plaintiffs “tell their story and stop this from happening (to) anyone else. Second is if there was any type of cover up, we want to find out about that and make sure that these four and any others that come forward can find some justice,” he said.
The phone number listed for Broadbent’s Provo office went to a voicemail saying it’s closed until March 1. Some online reviews of Broadbent lay out similar accounts of patients feeling violated while other reviews are positive.
Broadbent graduated from the University of Utah School of Medicine in 1974 according to his Vitals profile. The profile also says he is affiliated with Utah Valley Hospital and Timpanogos Regional Hospital. Utah Valley Hospital is part of Intermountain Healthcare and Timpanogos Regional Hospital is part of MountainStar Healthcare.
The court documents name MountainStar Healthcare as another defendant in the complaint, alleging that the company held him out as one of its doctors, affiliated with him and failed to stop him despite complaints against him. Sorenson said Broadbent was on MountainStar’s website when the complaint was filed on Feb. 15. He is not on the website anymore.
The documents claim MountainStar received complaints directly, and through Timpanogos Regional Hospital, as well as through the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing alleging that Broadbent was sexually harassing and abusing women.
MountainStar released this statement to The Daily Universe in response to being named in the lawsuit:
“We sympathize with and fully support any individuals in the recently filed lawsuit who may have experienced this alleged behavior at the physician’s private clinic in Provo,” it says. “Like hundreds of other physicians who practice privately in our community, this physician is not employed by any MountainStar hospital.”
“Over the years, this physician has seen a small number of patients at one of our facilities each year; however, to our knowledge, there are no allegations of inappropriate conduct at our facility. The physician is not currently authorized to see patients at our facility.”
“While we empathize with the people involved, we believe we were inappropriately named in this lawsuit and we will defend ourselves accordingly.”
Intermountain Healthcare was not listed as a defendant in the lawsuit although Broadbent had a profile on the system’s website in January 2019 which is now removed. His affiliations were Orem Community Hospital and Utah Valley Hospital according to the 2019 Intermountain profile obtained through an internet archive.
Intermountain Healthcare spokesperson Lance Madigan told The Daily Universe Broadbent “is an independent physician whose hospital privileges have been suspended.”
Broadbent has an active physician & surgeon license with the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing and does not have have any disciplinary actions accessible online. Utah Code 63G-4-106 and 107 says administrative disciplinary actions that started more than 10 years ago and certain actions over five years old are not accessible online.