$71.5M Compensation Fund Announced for Women Abused By Doctor, Including Andrew Yang's Wife

A multi-million-dollar settlement was announced Wednesday between 79 women, among them Evelyn Yang, wife of former presidential candidate Andrew Yang, and former Columbia University and New York-Presbyterian Hospital gynecologist Robert Hadden. The group says Hadden sexually abused them.

The settlement establishes a $71.5 million fund to compensate Hadden's alleged victims, according to The Associated Press.

After surrendering his medical license in a felony plea agreement in a 2016 case, Hadden, 63, was indicted in Sept. 2020 on federal charges of abusing dozens of patients, including multiple minors between 1993 and 2012. He pleaded not guilty.

The indictment also detailed one minor and five adult women crossing state lines to be treated by Hadden, which led to their abuse. Hadden allegedly also asked questions about the sexual activity of the women, and frequently asked about "inappropriate and irrelevant sexual topics," the AP reported.

Audrey Strauss, acting U.S. attorney in Manhattan at the time of the indictment, said Hadden had "inappropriately touched, squeezed and even licked his victims" while conducting what he said were medical examinations.

Evelyn Yang is one of several women who have discussed their stories regarding Hadden publicly. She said last year she was abused as a patient in 2012, including when she was seven months pregnant.

The 79 women included in the settlement are among the dozens of women who filed a civil suit against Hadden over the alleged abuse.

"Every patient deserves to be treated with dignity and respect and to be safe and secure," said Donna Lynne, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Columbia University Irving Medical Center. "We are deeply sorry that Hadden violated these fundamental obligations."

For more reporting from The Associated Press, see below.

Robert Hadden, Sexual Abuse
A view of the New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center during the coronavirus pandemic on May 18, 2020 in New York City. New York Presbyterian and Columbia University announced a $71.5 million settlement with the 79 women accusing former gynecologist Robert Hadden of decades of sexual abuse. Noam Galai/Getty Images

The agreement establishes the fund to be administered by an independent special master, Columbia University Irving Medical Center and New York Presbyterian said in a news release.

Hadden was convicted in 2016 in New York state court following a guilty plea to a criminal sex act in the third degree and forcible touching. He was required to surrender his medical license but was not sentenced to prison.

Adam P. Slater, an attorney for the women, said the settlement, combined with the ongoing federal prosecution of Hadden, "will hopefully reduce their trauma, allow them to find some measure of closure and put this horrific ordeal behind them."

The hospitals said they are working to resolve outstanding claims with additional former patients.

An email seeking comment was sent to an attorney for Hadden.