Sexual assault lawsuit against Decatur doctor turns attention towards his nurses

DECATUR, Ala. -- The civil case continues to grow against Decatur physician, Dr. Michael Dick. We learned in a court hearing Wednesday, plaintiff's lawyers say at least 15 women are claiming they are victims of sexual assault by the doctor.

The focus has now turned to the nurses who worked in his office.

"We have reason to believe that the nurses did know what was going on and that no action was taken," said Nick Lough, an attorney representing the plaintiffs.

The attorneys representing the alleged victims argue Dr. Dick's nurses knew he used his practice to commit multiple sexual assaults and didn't intervene.

The lawsuit claims the nurses were aware of or even present for the assaults.

The nurses involved have not been identified, and the lawyer representing Dr. Dick, Joel Williams, wants it to stay that way.

He argued in court that revealing the identities of the nurses could be dangerous for them and their children. He asked the judge to seal the record so their names could not be available to the public, saying revealing their identities would attract more media attention to them and the case.

Lough said that is why it cannot be sealed, because of the public interest.

"Every time a story is published, or a story is aired, anytime that someone sees about the Dr. Dick case, it just seems like, we have people coming from across North Alabama saying they've had the same interactions made by this doctor," said Lough.

He said it is especially important because Dr. Dick is still practicing.

"We have serious concerns with him practicing in Morgan County, we have friends in Morgan County. We don't want anybody else to be victimized by this man," he said.

The judge did not rule immediately but told both sides to come up with a protection order. It would not seal the names but could have redactions in upcoming depositions.

"We know there are multiple nurses involved, you have a doctor involved there are other people that work in that office that are involved. A lot of depositions are going to have to be done, and there's going to be a lot of names," Lough said.

The lawyers have 14 days to come up with a protection order both sides can agree on. If they cannot agree they will go back in front of the judge. The judge said the protective order was the best choice until more details and specifics on the nurses' possible role are revealed.

Dr. Dick is also being investigated by the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners and is involved in a criminal investigation in Morgan County.