The anonymous female doctor at the center of Attallah v. NYCOM may be a famous public figure next month if a federal court judge gets his way.
Documents that were filed under seal last December should now be made public, says Judge Joseph Bianco, unless the doctor’s ex-boyfriend, plaintiff Ahdy Attallah, comes up with a good reason to keep the doctor’s name concealed.
Attallah has until August 9, 2013, to file an amended civil Complaint with the woman’s real name. Her attorney, Syosset lawyer and federal public defender Gary Schoer, has stated he will not object.
In sealed cases, no one but the judge knows who “Dr. Jane Roe” is. However, the doctor’s co-defendants should have figured it out by now, based on statements and quotes that have made their way into court papers and implicated them into an action with potentially millions in damages on the line.
‘Dr. Jane Roe’
So far, Attallah has withheld the woman’s name in his pleadings, concealing most of the information that would identify her in the pages of his legal complaint.
His motive: Use of her four bizarre and bogus family offense petitions, submitted to courts in Connecticut and New York.
Attallah believes she circulated at least one, and possibly two, of the confidential petitions around the hospital where she worked and told everyone who read them that they were holding an “order of protection.” Because she didn’t show up at the preliminary hearings, her cases were dismissed and the court never issued the orders of protection she claimed she already had.
Apparently that was not a problem for “Dr. Roe.” Her victim, plaintiff Attallah, was threatened with expulsion if he didn’t move out of their two-bedroom apartment post-haste. He did, but his medical school expelled him anyway.
Throughout the episode, Attallah was unaware she had applied in two states for orders of protection. Dr. Roe made sure her ex-lover didn’t know about the petitions b.y hiding them from him, using fake addresses instead of the apartment they shared at Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow
In New York, family courts issue civil orders of protection, most often during messy divorces. Judges issue criminal orders of protection when conflicts turn violent and police are called to a crime scene.
Then there’s “ex parte” orders of protection, issued temporarily by a family court judge before a pre-hearing about the case. These are handed out automatically, based on a sworn statement by the person who applies, with no other basis. The law in New York is clear: “An ‘ex parte’ order of protection is not a finding of wrongdoing.“
In Attallah’s case, he is using ‘Dr. Roe’s’ petitions as exhibits. He hopes they will help him show, as best he can, that the doctor’s so-called “orders of protection” in 2008 were family offense petitions.
Although the petitions are not orders of protection, they are legally privileged, he says. Family court proceedings are confidential. There was simply no other way for Attallah to make the point that she was lying. He worried he would be barred from using them — unless he covered up her name.
Decides to sue
This is why it is ‘Dr. Roe’ who is being sued for Fraud, Malicious Prosecution, Infliction of Emotional Distress, Prima Facie Tort and a host of other counts. Attallah believes she planned the attack for months as she grew increasingly fed up with begging him to marry her.
Her “order of protection” and “stalking” story alarmed officials at Nassau University Medical Center. “Dr. Roe” told them in August 2010 she needed a leave of absence to recover from months of abuse from her live-in lover. One official, according to a petition she filed in 2011, asked her if Attallah was the “same individual” who was involved in an episode that occurred several months earlier, when she walked off the job while assigned to Emergency Room duty.
Her timing could not have been more perfect. It came just two months after a real tragedy at the hospital, when a nurse’s aide was shot and killed on the sidewalk at the East Meadow hospital.
Officials would have been aware that an order of protection might have saved the victim’s life. Instead, the criminal court judge issued two orders of protection for surviving family members.
Hospital’s ‘deja vu’
Violence was therefore on everyone’s mind when Attallah’s anonymous ex-girlfriend walked through the hospital doors into work with her parents and talked to bosses about her so-called “order of protection.”
Not surprisingly, nervous officials hit the panic button. Dr. Martin Diamond contacted medical school Dean Thomas Scandalis, who, Attallah says, quickly agreed that the Egyptian-born student was “not fit to practice medicine.”
To top it off, Diamond requested that Scandalis scare the medical student into moving — immediately — out of the apartment he was sharing with “Dr Roe,” a two-bedroom flat set on hospital grounds next to the medical center.
After he moved out, “Dr. Roe” continued to go after Attallah for a year, skipping the hearings so that she could file again and again.
Back to school?
When Attallah filed his federal civil rights complaint, he was hoping that college officials would come to terms with their mistake. He had never been given an opportunity to show aofficials that Dr. Roe was not telling the truth. He expected that if they could see the mistake they had made, they might be sorry. The best evidence of that, he said, was to use her applications, which contained simple, child-like narratives penned not by a vulnerable teenager but by a middle-aged internal medicine physician — two of them in her own hand.
To Attallah’s surprise, Dr. Roe’s attorney, Gary Schoer, appeared unconcerned about waiving the privilege when the subject was raised during a recent conference call. “I don’t care,” he shrugged.
If the mystery doctor does not object, and Judge Bianco unseals Attallah’s case, her four dismissed family offense petitions will become available on the public docket, available to bloggers and the entire internet universe as well as mainstream media.
That can only be a good thing for Attallah. Her stories exposed, the shallow, divorced, middle-aged doctor who loves Sephora nailpolish and shops at TJMaxx, who speaks with a Soviet accent reminiscent of a Russian spy and thinks a stethoscope and white coat are streetwear, working at a hospital somewhere on Long Island, just may be getting a well deserved dose of her own medicine.