GRAND JUNCTION, Colo — Weeks after investigators arrested a Colorado nurse on allegations he sexually assaulted unconscious patients inside a Grand Junction hospital, a lawsuit filed on behalf of two of his alleged victims suggests there may be thousands of hours of cell phone video recordings of assaults on them and countless others.
Denver-based attorneys filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of the two women against the hospital and the hospital’s owner this week in Colorado District Court.
The suit suggests Christopher Lambros was found with approximately “four terabytes of data” on his cell phone and other devices.
“Four terabytes of data amounts to approximately 700,000 cell phone photos or 65,000 hours of cell phone videos,” according to the lawsuit.
Lambros, 61, was arrested in October after a witness told investigators back in July that Lambros was seen with an unconscious female patient in a dark room with curtains drawn. It’s not clear how many potential victims there might be, but the suit suggests there could be many others.
The women, who are suing under the initials M.C. and J.V., were patients at St. Mary’s Hospital earlier this year. St. Mary’s is owned by SCL Health, which merged with Intermountain Healthcare in April.
“This needs to be out there,” M.C. told 9NEWS. 9NEWS has agreed to not use her full name due to the nature of the case. “This should never happen again. It sickens me he was doing this.”
M.C. described their emotions as a roller coaster.
"You know, one day I'm good. Next day I'm... I'm very angry. And I don't mean to be angry with other people, but I am," M.C. said.
Attorney Laurie Jaeckel said one of the goals is to promote patient safety for the future.
"They have both been devastated by what has happened to them. They have felt violated. They are very wary of going to doctors, even though both of them still have serious health conditions," Jaeckel said.
She added that Lambros is still being held on a $1 million bond.
“I still don’t know what happened to me,” J.V. said. “I asked [St. Mary’s staff and investigators] directly what happened to me and I still haven’t gotten a straight answer.”
“I am still trying to wrap my head around it,” she added.
Lambros’ nursing license in Colorado dates back to at least 2012.
In a written statement sent to 9NEWS, a spokesperson for SCL Health stated, in part, “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," the statement says. "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.”
SCL said it had set up a phone number for patients to call with questions. That number is 970-298-2273.
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