More than 60 former patients file class action suit against ex-Brigham doc accused of sexual abuse


In a new lawsuit, dozens of Dr. Derrick Todd’s former patients allege that the rheumatologist performed inappropriate breast, pelvic, and rectal exams.

David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

Dr. Derrick Todd is now facing dozens of sexual abuse allegations after more than 60 patients filed a class action lawsuit against the former Brigham and Women’s Hospital physician on Wednesday.

They allege that the rheumatologist — who left Brigham and Women’s in July — performed “inappropriate pelvic examinations, breast examinations, and rectal examinations on patients … for his own sexual gratification.” 

Wednesday’s complaint is the third lawsuit filed against Todd within the past two weeks; the previous lawsuits made similar allegations of medically unnecessary breast and pelvic exams. 

Bill Thompson, a lawyer with Lubin & Meyer — the firm that brought the class action suit — said 65 former patients had signed on as of Wednesday afternoon. He also said he expects that number will continue to climb. 

“Patients who suffered at the hands of Dr. Todd should not suffer alone,” he told in an email. “There is strength in numbers and together we can stand up and say this is not OK.”  

  • Former patient files lawsuit against ousted Brigham doc, alleging sexual assault

  • Former Brigham doctor accused of performing unnecessary pelvic and breast exams

The lawsuit names a wide array of defendants aside from Todd, including physicians he worked under and the institutions where he practiced medicine. Among them: Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital; Charles River Medical Associates; Brigham and Women’s Physicians Organization; and Mass General Brigham Community Physicians. 

The named plaintiff in the lawsuit, Hull resident Nancy Larsen, said Todd performed “inappropriate and unauthorized breast and pelvic examinations” on her beginning in 2020 and continuing through 2023. 

She’s bringing the lawsuit on behalf of herself and other patients who were allegedly subjected to physical exams that weren’t medically indicated. 

“These horrifying, traumatizing, and deplorable acts took place over years, from at least as far back as 2011 and continuing through July, 2023, at which time Dr. Todd was investigated by the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Board of Registration in Medicine, and formally resigned,” the suit states.  

Todd agreed last month to stop practicing medicine in Massachusetts and in other states, though his voluntary agreement does not admit to wrongdoing. 

“To the extent that anyone is bringing claims against him, Dr. Todd believes that he has done nothing wrong and will defend against such claims vigorously,” his lawyer, Ingrid Martin, said last week in a statement on his behalf. “We are cooperating fully with any investigation by the Board of Registration in Medicine.”

What now?

Brigham and Women’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Charles Morris said in a statement Tuesday that the hospital has reached out to Todd’s current and former patients. He encouraged Todd’s patients to call 617-732-7081 if they haven’t already spoken with someone at the hospital. 

“We deeply regret the harm Dr. Todd’s actions has caused our patients and their families,” Morris said. “We take our duty to care for our patients and keep them safe extremely seriously. We have, and always will, act decisively on any allegations of misconduct, as we did in this case.” 

Charles River Medical Associates Director Dr. Joseph Harrington — who is named in the class action suit — said in a previous statement that the organization is “disappointed and saddened by these disturbing allegations” and that it is also in the process of communicating with patients. 

Thompson said Lubin & Meyer hopes Wednesday’s lawsuit “brings about accountability for these women, both in terms of compensation for what was done to them, but also to raise awareness and prevent anything like this from happening ever again.”

He added: “As more and more women come forward, it is becoming more and more obvious that Dr. Todd’s supervisors at the hospitals and within his office practice either knew and failed to act, or failed to know, which is both astonishing and inexcusable as this conduct was going on repeatedly over many years right under their noses.”