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Five Alleged Victims of Convicted Child Molestor Pediatrician Johnnie Barto File First Lawsuit Against Barto and The Hospitals and Clinic Where He Worked

Following Dr. Johnnie Barto's conviction on 69 counts related to child sexual abuse, five former patients have filed the first lawsuit against him and the healthcare providers that employed him, highlighting a systemic failure to act on previous allegations.

Ebensburg Pennsylvania - Attorneys representing five former patients of disgraced pediatrician Dr. Johnnie Barto announced the filing of a lawsuit against Conemaugh Health Systems, Laurel Pediatrics, and Johnnie Barto. These are the first lawsuits filed since Barto was convicted of 69 counts of aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault, and endangering the welfare of children and sentenced to up to 158 years in prison.

Barto survivor Erika Brosig, who made victim impact statements in his criminal trial, said, “These five brave women are young enough to be given access to the civil justice system under Pennsylvania’s outmoded statute of limitations law. Dozens and perhaps hundreds of other victims have lost that right. That is why we are headed to the state capitol to push for new legislation to open a window to justice for all victims of child sexual assault this year.”

The lawsuit alleges that during medical exams at the Laurel Pediatric Clinic, Barto groped and fondled the breasts and genitals of his young patients under the guise of performing examinations. The girls were aged 8, 10, 11, 13, and 16 at the time of the alleged assaults. None of them went to Barto for treatment of their breast or genitals.

During the time of the alleged assaults, Dr. Barto was employed by Laurel Pediatrics and Conemaugh Health Systems and, according to the lawsuit, they knew of Barto’s long history of sexual misconduct allegations and complaints of sexual misconduct involving children.

Conemaugh Health Systems is the largest health care provider in Western Pennsylvania with more than 4500 employees. It is owned by Life Point Health, a 6-billion-dollar health care conglomerate.

Sarah Klein, an attorney working with survivors, said, “Barto was credibly accused of molesting a 4-year-old girl in 1994 and was the subject of multiple accusations and complaints for child sexual abuse during the next 25 years. The large medical institutions that employed Barto had the resources to investigate these complaints and act but they failed to do so. They also failed to properly supervise him and protect the children that he mistreated and abused. None of these clients were born when the first compliant was made against Barto. He will spend the rest of his miserable life in prison. The institutions that allowed his abuse to continue for more than two decades must now be held accountable.”

Ms. Klein was joined at the news conference by other alleged survivors of Johnnie Barto. Survivors’ attorney Drew Dalton said, “Every victim of Johnnie Barto deserves to have their day in court and the opportunity to hold him and the institutions that enabled him accountable. Pennsylvania needs to join New York, New Jersey, and other states that are opening windows to justice for victims of child sexual assault.”

Manly Stewart & Finaldi is California’s leading law firm representing child victims of sexual abuse. The firm has represented more than 150 victims of clergy sexual abuse in California and hundreds of others throughout the United States. The firm also represented plaintiffs in the $140,000,000 settlement against LAUSD in the Miramonte case, the largest sex abuse settlement against a School District in the US. The firm currently represents more than 180 alleged victims of former Michigan State University and U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Olympic Team doctor Larry Nassar. Michigan State University has settled this case for $500,000,000, this is the largest settlement of any personal injury case against a University.

Dalton Law Firm is a Delaware based law firm representing victims of child abuse, medical malpractice, and automobile accidents. Founding partner Bart Dalton is a former Delaware Deputy Attorney General and past president of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Mr. Dalton holds the largest Medical Malpractice and automobile accident verdicts in the history of Delaware.

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Manly, Stewart & Finaldi is regarded as America's leading law firm for sexual abuse cases. As a firm that exclusively handles sexual abuse cases, our California law firm offers experienced representation to obtain justice for sexual abuse survivors, harassment, and discrimination.

Learn more about Manly, Stewart & Finaldi.