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SALT LAKE CITY — A lawsuit filed Tuesday against the hospital who employed a Bountiful gynecologist convicted of sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl and streaming video of him removing her clothes, alleges the hospital is partially responsible for the abuse.
The victim of the assaults, along with her mother, allege in the lawsuit that Lakeview Hospital could’ve prevented the six years of abuse the daughter suffered at the hands of 57-year-old Nathan Ward.
It also alleges the hospital is partially responsible for the assaults because Ward allegedly used his authority to steal drugs from the hospital to use in the sexual assaults.
Mountain Star Healthcare owns and operates Lakeview Hospital and both are listed as defendants in the lawsuit, which was filed in 3rd District Court.
Ward was employed by Mountain Star for about 16 years as an OB-GYN doctor and primarily ran the Lakeview OB-GYN Clinic, according to the lawsuit.
The victim was about 11 years old when Ward first sexually assaulted her. Ward used electronic devices owned or controlled by Mountain Star and Lakeview Hospital to illegally post and obtain explicit child pornography, according to the lawsuit.
These devices were used when Ward recorded himself assaulting the victim while she was a minor, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit claims employees and anesthetists of Mountain Star and Lakeview were involved either indirectly or directly in illegally obtaining, storing and using drugs themselves, or should have known about it.
An investigation into the illegal drug activity was launched by the hospital that resulted in the termination of some of its employees, the lawsuit states. However, it alleged the investigation was limited in scope and consciously or negligently failed to discover and stop Ward’s criminal behavior.
Had the hospital completed what the lawsuit called an “appropriate investigation,” the continual sexual assaults committed by Ward could have been stopped or even prevented, the lawsuit alleges.
Lakeview Hospital officials disputed these claims in a written response to the lawsuit's allegations.
"In 2017, we were made aware of serious criminal allegations against Dr. Nathan Ward," the statement read. "As a result, we immediately terminated his employment at Lakeview OB/GYN Clinic and fully assisted law enforcement during their investigation. We intend to vigorously defend ourselves against this lawsuit."
Ward’s time in Utah State Prison begins after he serves about 22 years for a different federal sentence after admitting to a federal charge of streaming video of the girl as he removed her clothing. In all, he could end up serving up to 37 years in prison.