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Apr
24
2024
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In October 2022, former Yellow Springs Primary Care physician Donald Gronbeck pleaded "not guilty" to 50 counts of sex crimes at the Greene County Common Pleas Court in Xenia. He was represented by Jon Paul Rion of Rion, Rion and Rion, L.P.A, Inc. (Photo by Jessica Thomas)

Jury trial delays, new civil suits for Gronbeck

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Ed. Note: The following article involves information pertaining to alleged sex crimes that some readers may find distressing.

Donald Gronbeck, a former Yellow Springs physician accused of sexually assaulting 15 patients, is now facing several civil lawsuits in addition to his ongoing criminal case.

Gronbeck, 43, of Bath Twp., was arrested in October 2022 and indicted on 50 criminal charges in connection with sex crimes allegedly committed when he worked at the now defunct Yellow Springs Primary Care, Inc., and Kettering Health’s Soin Medical Center in Beavercreek. At an arraignment hearing that month, Gronbeck pleaded “not guilty.” His medical license was revoked in January 2022.

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Gronbeck has been on strict house arrest at his Dayton-Yellow Springs Road home with electronic monitoring since he posted 10% of his $1 million bond in November 2022.

Since then, several jury trials over his criminal charges have been scheduled — the first of which was to take place in January 2023. After five continuations, Gronbeck’s first jury trial is now set for March 3, 2025.

Although Gronbeck’s defense attorney, Jon Paul Rion, of Dayton-based Rion, Rion & Rion was unable to comment directly on the criminal case, court documents show that a recent discovery dispute may have extended the legal proceedings against the former doctor.

Later last year, attorneys representing former patients of Gronbeck sought to prevent his defense from obtaining medical, counseling and other personal records, citing privacy rights and victim privileges.

Last month, though, the county’s Second Appellate District Court dismissed the plaintiffs’ appeal, and in the weeks since, the case docket shows that new praecipes — orders requesting pertinent documents — and notice of witnesses have been filed.

Additional court documents show, however, that the plaintiffs intend to appeal the appellate court’s decision, and take the discovery dispute to the Ohio Supreme Court — a move that likely contributes to the delays in the jury trial date.

New civil suits

By the end of January this year, Gronbeck racked up four additional civil suits — one of which involves 16 plaintiffs.

Among the defendants in the new suits are Gronbeck; Yellow Springs Primary Care; Soin Medical Center; and McKinley Hall, an addiction treatment center in Springfield.

Gronbeck saw patients at each of those locations concurrently from 2014–2018. Previously, he was a campus physician at Antioch College and worked with Miami Township Fire-Rescue — neither of which are defendants in these cases.

Three of the new civil suits are classified as “other tort,” which pertains to a wrongful action or violation of an individual’s personal, property or dignity rights. It includes assault, battery, trespass, products liability or intentional infliction of emotional damage.

According to over a dozen plaintiff complaints related to these cases, obtained through the Greene County clerk of courts through several public record requests, Gronbeck allegedly conducted medically unnecessary procedures and examinations that led to unwanted sexual advances and assaults on both male and female patients; verbally harassed patients; administered several incorrect diagnoses; and prescribed unnecessarily high doses of opioids; among other alleged transgressions.

One plaintiff complaint asserts that Yellow Springs Primary Care is complicit in Gronbeck’s alleged acts, stating that the healthcare provider “had actual or constructive knowledge of Gronbeck’s incompetence in the practice of medicine” and that its “negligent failure to take action against [him] … constituted a violation of law and medical ethics,” and was therefore “a proximate cause” to patient injuries.

These suits join a fifth civil case that was initiated in January of last year on grounds of personal injury by one of Gronbeck’s former patients at Soin Medical Center who also alleged that she experienced unwanted sexual conduct from Gronbeck. That suit also accuses one of Gronbeck’s employees, Jaime Shirley, of conspiring with and assisting the former physician.

Plaintiff attorneys Steven R.R. Anderson and Anthony Cicero were unable to comment on the new and ongoing civil suits before press time.

The News will provide additional criminal and civil case updates as they are made available.

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2 Responses to “Jury trial delays, new civil suits for Gronbeck”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Can you trust medical records if the entity providing them may be subject to litigation? Paper records, years ago, were too easily tampered with, but astute licensing investigators often were able to tell when alterations occurred. Now days, with everything being online, I hope there’s a valid method to use in a court of law that would unquestionably verify if original documents were subject to any editing? Certainly, there should be a way to determine the authenticity of the original documents via computer investigative scrutiny if they become evidence in a court of law. BUT–If someone isn’t trustworthy with the physical patient, certainly their medical assessments wouldn’t count for much. How absurd! Many perpetrators profile their victims selecting persons who may be vulnerable from past abuses (not always, but perhaps in childhood) This is a pretty well established M.O. of how perpetrators work, so I’m wondering if this controversy over victim medical records is an attempt to shame victims for things that were never their fault. That is the first thing all victims will eventually come to know: abuse was not their fault. Abuse is abuse.

    It’s commonly called the “White Wall of Silence” when medical professionals/entities look the other way regarding crimes or ethical abuse. Perhaps it is time those walls become mirrors to hold the medical community to a higher standard of patient care. That’s all I have to say.

  2. Parus Major says:

    Any violation of a trust relationship whether between priest/pastor with parishioner or between medical doctor/psychologist and patient (or teacher/student) often has such particularly longstanding repercussions for those traumatized by such assaults that these types of crimes should perhaps be categorized and prosecuted specifically as “trust violations” felonies. They can destroy a person’s faith and/or desire for medical care–two ingredients for sustaining a vibrant life.

    Even when, or ‘if’, one ever arrives at the point of forgiveness, the damage to trust is still a hole in the wood.

    Wishing these plaintiffs courage and all the community support they need. Peace.

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