Columbia University and its hospitals sued over doctor's sexual abuse

A lawsuit was filed against Columbia University and NewYork-Presbyterian hospital system for allegedly enabling a sexually abusive physician.

(CNN)Seventeen women are accusing Columbia University and the NewYork-Presbyterian hospital system of enabling a sexually abusive doctor over roughly 20 years of practice, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in New York Supreme Court. The doctor, Robert Hadden, pleaded guilty in 2016 to criminal sex act in the third degree and forcible touching, surrendering his medical license, according to court documents. He received no jail time.

Hadden is also named as a defendant in Tuesday's suit. Columbia University and the NewYork-Presbyterian system are alleged to have "repeatedly and actively concealed, conspired and enabled the sexual exploitation and abuse being committed by defendant Robert Hadden" as early as 1993. Hadden, who court filings say is a resident of New Jersey, could not be reached for comment. His attorney in that case, Bill Vaslas, has not responded to multiple requests for comment. CNN was not able to identify Hadden's legal representation in the new case.