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Woman sues Whidbey General Hospital after alleged fondling in 2009

An Oak Harbor woman is suing Whidbey General Hospital after she says a massage therapist touched her inappropriately in 2009.

Kathleen Konopik filed a complaint for damages against the hospital Oct. 26 in Island County Superior Court.

She is seeking unspecified damages.

According to court documents, Konopik was receiving a massage therapy treatment from Glenn Curry, an employee of the hospital on Oct. 5, 2009.

Curry was employed by the hospital from 2002 to 2010.

Konopik alleges Curry “forcibly” removed her underwear to expose her bare bottom and began “fondling and groping” her.

“(Konopik) was immediately shocked, humiliated and outraged by (Curry’s) conduct and the massage therapy session terminated immediately thereafter and (Konopik) never returned for further massage therapy treatment ... after that date,” documents state.

Tyna Ek, attorney for Whidbey General Hospital, said Konopik never filed a complaint with the hospital regarding the incident.

“They heard about it from an outside source,” she said.

Curry was immediately placed on administrative leave, per standard procedure, and an investigation was conducted.

“They called her (Konopik) and asked her to come in and she hung up on them,” Ek said. “It’s really unfortunate she didn’t cooperate with our investigation.”

An attorney for Konopik could not be reached for comment.

Curry returned to work after the investigation, but in April 2010 a different woman filed a complaint with the hospital against Curry, Ek said.

Again he was placed on administrative leave, pending an investigation.

During that time he quit, Ek said.

“The hospital takes these complaints seriously and tries to act promptly,” she said. “With the woman who complained in 2010, we took action that same day.”

A court date has not been set for the case.

Konopik is seeking unspecified damages to be decided at the time of trial for “sexual assault and battery, sexual harassment, the tort of outrage, negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress.”

She is also seeking attorney’s fees and court costs.

 

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