PORT ANGELES — Two women have filed civil complaints against physician Josiah Hill and Peninsula Emergency Services, Inc. with additional complaints expected to be filed against Olympic Medical Center.
The complaints were filed on Aug. 29 and Aug. 30 by Ashton Dennis with Washington Law Center, who is representing the women.
Dennis said the women plan to amend their complaints to include OMC after a 60-day review period for OMC.
Both complaints claim negligence and discrimination on the part of Peninsula Emergency Services, Inc. and provide details of what happened to the women while in the care of Hill, who was working as an emergency care doctor through PESI at OMC.
One woman alleges that Hill molested her while being evaluated in the emergency room (ER) at OMC in August 2021.
Another woman also alleges that Hill molested her both in the ER and after she had been admitted to the hospital’s in-patient care.
Clallam County Prosecutor Mark Nichols said neither of the women who have filed civil suits has filed criminal suits against Hill, PESI or OMC.
The criminal investigation is ongoing, and Dennis said his clients are working with investigators.
Hill is facing criminal charges concerning three other women who were under his care while in the ER at OMC. None of these women have filed civil suits.
The charges include three counts of indecent liberties by a healthcare provider and one count of second-degree rape, which carry a maximum sentence of life in prison and $50,000 in fines.
Hill was arrested on suspicion of those charges on July 14 and pleaded not guilty during his arraignment on July 30.
The state Department of Health suspended Hill’s medical license soon after his arrest.
A trial date has been set for Oct. 10.
PESI dissolved as a business soon after OMC ended its contract with the emergency service provider at the end of June. Sound Physicians will fully take over the operation of the OMC emergency department in October.
“PESI was simply the entity that represented the local ER doctors to the hospital for the last 35 years,” former director of PESI Dr. James Wallace said in an email.
“The hospital wanted to keep it separate, but for all practical purposes, the ER doctors were employees of the hospital,” Wallace said.
“When the explosive allegation against Hill came along, the hospital used this artificial separation to throw the ED doctors — 80 percent of whom were young, progressive women — under the bus, in a hopeless attempt to transfer blame from the hospital to the ER doctors,” Wallace continued.
“So, what they ended up with are temporary doctors manning the ER indefinitely, at twice the cost to the community. It’s a disaster for local patients,” Wallace said.
Dennis said the dissolution of PESI does not impact his clients’ complaints against it.
“We look forward to their answer to our clients’ complaints,” Dennis said.
OMC declined to comment on potential complaints being filed against the hospital.
“In respect to the active and ongoing investigations, Olympic Medical Center will not be commenting at this time,” said Bobby Beeman, communications manager for OMC.
Reporter Ken Park can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.