There has been an ongoing investigation into a Grand Junction nurse accused of sexually assaulting unconscious patients, which now is the basis for a class action lawsuit against the health care system. The lawsuit was filed Tuesday, December 20, 2022, alleging St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction, CO, failed to take care of patients who were sexually assaulted while unconscious at the hospital. It also states that the hospital’s management didn’t do enough to prevent the abuse. According to court documents, the complaint alleges there could be thousands of victims based on the evidence collected, but only three have been identified. Prosecutors believe there may be a fourth victim, who has not been identified yet, that was assaulted in 2016. Lambros began working at St. Mary’s in 2012.
Sadly, this isn’t the first lawsuit filed against this Grand Junction hospital. A former St. Mary’s patient who was sexually assaulted in 2017 while in a coma in the hospital’s emergency room by an unsupervised visitor sued St. Mary’s in 2018. Reports state that Adam Stice pleaded guilty in 2018 to one count of assault and one count of unlawful sexual contact for the incident and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
The new class-action lawsuit comes just under two months after Christopher Lambros’ arrest. On October 25, 2022, Christopher Peter Lambros, a Grand Junction intensive care unit nurse at St. Mary’s Hospital, was arrested for sexual assault on at least three patients. Lambros faces six charges, including two for sexual assault, two counts of invasion of privacy for sexual gratification, and two counts of unlawful sexual contact. Investigators believe Lambros, 61, assaulted patients that were unable to form consent between April 30, 2022, and July 9, 2022. He is currently held at the Mesa County Detention Facility on a $250,000 cash-only bond.
According to media reports, Lambros was working a shift at St. Mary’s on July 9, 2022, when another staff member reported to local police that she saw Lambros sexually assaulting and photographing an unconscious patient. The employee claims she entered a patient’s room, saw the lights off, and the curtains drawn. When the employee opened the curtains, she noticed the patient’s gown was pulled up and the bed sheets pulled down. The document says she saw Lambros with his head on the patient’s stomach while holding a cell phone as if taking a “selfie” picture. In one video, Lambros reportedly can be heard whispering to the camera saying, “don’t you ever get rid of these videos” and “you need to keep them forever… this is your Dexter collection.” Dexter is in reference to a TV show whose main character, Dexter Morgan, is a serial killer.
A statement was released by staff at St. Mary’s:
“Chris Lambros, a former nurse at St. Mary’s Medical Center, was terminated from employment at St. Mary’s Medical Center immediately following his arrest by the Grand Junction Police Department under suspicion of sexual assault while delivering care at our hospital. The safety of our patients is our highest priority, and we take this matter very seriously. We have zero tolerance for anyone who engages in the abuse or mistreatment of our patients. Immediately following the reported concern, the hospital placed Chris Lambros on administrative leave, removed his access to the hospital and patients, and reported the matter to local law enforcement. While the investigation is ongoing, at this time, the district attorney has charged the former nurse with abusing two patients. “What this former nurse is accused of is reprehensible and goes against everything we believe and value at St. Mary’s Medical Center. Patients put their trust in us and should feel safe in our care. We are working closely with law enforcement to protect our patients from those who intend to cause harm. We are doing everything possible to ensure our patients continue to feel safe and respected while receiving care at St. Mary’s Medical Center,” said Bryan Johnson, President of St. Mary’s Medical Center. St. Mary’s continues to fully cooperate with the Grand Junction Police Department in its ongoing investigation. We cannot offer further details about this matter out of respect for patient privacy. While the Grand Junction Police Department and hospital are contacting known victims directly, we understand that our former patients may have questions or concerns, and we want to offer them support. We have set up a call center to directly connect people with a patient representative so they can get information about their individual care. That phone number is (970) 298-2273. Questions about the criminal investigation should be directed to the Grand Junction Police Department or the 21st Judicial District Attorney’s Office.”
Finding the right medical provider can be challenging. We seek out seasoned professionals who possess a good bedside manner, compassion, and empathy. When we do finally decide on one, we hope to feel better over time, not be violated by the very person with whom we place our trust. Doctors and nurses hold a position of power in the physician-patient relationship. It is both unacceptable and unlawful for a healthcare professional to touch a patient in any sexual manner or practice any sexual misconduct while treating the patient.
Horowitz Law has filed numerous sexual misconduct claims against medical professionals on behalf of patients who were inappropriately touched in their care. Under no circumstances is a doctor or nurse permitted to have sexual contact with a patient. If you have been a victim of sexual assault or sexual battery at a medical office or facility, or if you know someone who has, please contact our law firm at 888-283-9922 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at [email protected] for a free consultation.