Attorneys for URMC professor facing accusations from a former medical resident respond to lawsuit

Mar 1, 2018

Credit URMC

A prominent professor at the University of Rochester Medical  Center is facing serious allegations in a civil lawsuit. His lawyers are now responding.

The lawsuit was filed by Katia Kaplan-List, who was a medical resident in a program through Rochester General, but the suit involves allegations against a faculty member at the U of R Medical Center, Dr. Johan Blickman.

Blickman is vice-chair of URMC's department of imaging sciences and a professor in pediatrics.

In this suit served on URMC last week, it claims that Dr. Blickman drugged and raped Kaplan-List in 2014 after inviting her to come to his home to discuss a project.

The lawsuit also claims Blickman blackmailed the woman, saying that he would destroy her career with photos he had taken of her, if she reported his actions.

It’s also alleged in this lawsuit that Blickman implied to Kaplan-List’s boyfriend that he wanted his ex-wife killed.

URMC released this statement:

"Dr. Katia Kaplan-List was not in a residency program at the University of Rochester.  Rather, she was a radiology resident in a program at Rochester General Hospital who, during 2013 and 2014, did three one-month rotations in pediatric radiology at Strong Memorial Hospital.  Approximately two years after completing her rotations here, we received reports that Dr. Johan Blickman, who then supervised the pediatric imaging residency program at Strong, had engaged in an inappropriate relationship with Dr. Kaplan-List. We investigated those reports, which came from Dr. Kaplan-List’s attorney in 2016, and took action based on our findings.

Last week the University received a complaint in which new and different allegations have been made against Dr. Blickman by Dr. Kaplan-List, some of which would be serious criminal offenses if proven true. Dr. Blickman is on leave and we will review these new allegations as we prepare our response to the complaint, but we have not received a law-enforcement inquiry related to them."

Rochester Police say they are not involved in this case and the Monroe County District Attorney’s office says it never received a request to investigate the incidents in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit is asking for $30 million in damages.

A law firm, Evans Fox LLP, which is representing Dr. Blickman, released this response to the lawsuit:

“The defamatory allegations of inappropriate and criminal conduct alleged by Dr. Kaplan-List against Dr. Blickman are patently untrue, vehemently denied, and appear to be an attempt by Dr. Kaplan-List to use the current social climate to gain a financial windfall. Such salacious accusations by an individual who has her own agenda must be dismissed outright, especially where absolutely no evidence or independent sources to sustain such falsehoods are put forth. The same or similar allegations were previously filed with the University of Rochester in June 2016. Those allegations were investigated by the University pursuant to the University’s Policy against Discrimination and Harassment (Policy 106) and it was concluded that Dr. Blickman did NOT violate Policy 106 and that the relationship between Dr. Blickman and Dr. Kaplan-List was consensual and NOT otherwise inappropriate. Further, and despite the false allegations of criminal actions, Dr. Blickman is NOT aware of any criminal complaint ever having been filed or any criminal investigation ever occurring. Dr. Blickman will vigorously pursue the justice to which he is entitled, will protect his name and the reputation that he has built over the last 40 years of practicing medicine and is confident that he will be fully vindicated by actual evidence in a court of law.”