HARTFORD, Conn., March 6 (UPI) -- A Hartford, Conn., hospital is being sued by 90 people claiming that as children they were molested by a doctor claiming to be involved in medical research.
A jury could be seated this week in a suit against the St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center by the alleged victims of Dr. George Reardon, the Hartford Courant reported Sunday.
Reardon, who died in 1998, allegedly abused as many as 500 children and adolescents after persuading their parents to enroll them in his human growth study at the hospital, where he had been chief of endocrinology, the newspaper said.
The case against Reardon and St. Francis, with hundreds of suspected victims including the 90 who have filed suit, is believed to be one of the largest of its kind.
The suit argues the hospital is liable in the alleged assaults because it failed to supervise an employee using hospital time, space and grant money supposedly to collect data on human subjects.
The suit alleges Reardon's so-called research was highly abusive and irregular, claiming he forced children to pose for photographs in the nude in sexually suggestive poses and sometimes ordered children to simulate sex acts with one another.
One lawyer for the plaintiffs called Reardon's growth study a "sinisterly brilliant" cover for pedophilia.
Reardon resigned from the hospital in 1993 when the state health department, responding to complaints, asked the state Medical Examining Board to begin measures to revoke his license.
The board dropped proceedings against Reardon in 1995 in exchange for his promise never to practice medicine again, anywhere.
Reardon died three years later.