Originally published in The Examiner
TWO more Tasmanians have come forward to a law firm, claiming they were abused by prominent former Launceston neurologist Dr Andrew Churchyard.
More than 70 people have filed complaints against the deceased doctor since he took his own life in late July, after being committed to stand trial for abuse.
Among those complaints are now four Tasmanians, who have filed claims with Melbourne law firm Holding Redlich.
The firm is representing alleged victims in individual Victorian Supreme Court cases against Dr Churchyard’s estate.
In what has become one of the most serious medical abuse scandals in Australian history, former patients are alleging Dr Churchyard sexually assaulted them in various ways while they were under his care, including at least one case that allegedly saw him abuse someone behind a curtain while a chaperone was in the room.
On Monday, Holding Redlich personal injury managing partner Bree Knoester confirmed new reports of abuse from Tasmania.
One person claimed Dr Churchyard conducted “inappropriate physical examinations” on them in Launceston over a period of four to five years, in a way that “was not medically justified”.
Another has written to the firm anonymously claiming Dr Churchyard’s abuse was widespread.
“We’ve received anonymous correspondence informing us that there were many other victims in Tasmania,” Ms Knoester said.
Earlier this month, the Holding Redlich confirmed that two Tasmanian families had come forward, following Fairfax Media reports on Dr Churchyard’s alleged behaviour.
One family has told the firm a relative was assaulted multiple times between 2012 and 2014.
The other family says a relation was overmedicated – a “consistent theme” in claims against the former neurologist.
Holding Redlich has also received reports of Dr Churchyard taking patients out to dinner in Tasmania.
The complaints have seen Victoria Police launch an investigation and the Medical Board of Australia is reviewing the nation’s chaperone system.
Dr Churchyard was ordered to work with a chaperone while seeing male patients last year following allegations of sexually misconduct against him.
Adviceline Injury Lawyers is the brand under which the personal injury division of Holding Redlich operates.
Bree Knoester has acted for many victims of sexual abuse, including doctor/patient abuse and historical sex abuse cases. If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, and would like legal advice, Bree can be contacted confidentially on her direct telephone number (03) 9321 9879.