77 former patients file lawsuit against Merrick pediatrician over sexual abuse allegations

A former Merrick pediatrician who was stripped of his medical license a year ago over allegations he molested his patients is now being sued under the Child Victim's Act.

News 12 Staff

Jul 14, 2021, 7:40 PM

Updated 1,010 days ago

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A former Merrick pediatrician who was stripped of his medical license 20 years ago over allegations he molested his patients is now being sued under the Child Victim's Act.
Lawyers representing 77 former patients of Dr. Stuart Copperman filed civil suits against him.
"The law basically allows anyone under the age of 18 who is sexually assaulted to bring a civil lawsuit. It did away with any statute of limitations with regard to any notice of claim or any of what we would normally refer to as a three-year statute of limitation for sexual assault victims," says attorney Michael Della.
According to the complaints, Copperman sexually abused his first patient in 1961 during his internship and residency and continued abusing minor female patients for more than four decades.
Copperman ran a medical practice out of his home for 35 years. When News 12 spoke with Copperman back in 2000, he denied the allegations.
Debra Zuckerwise says she is still haunted by what happened to her during an exam at Copperman's office when she was 8 years old. Zuckerwise says it wasn't until 25 years later during a group meeting that she realized she was a victim.
"After the meeting, the counselor came up to me and said, 'Do you realize what the doctor did?'" And I said I thought it was part of the exam. And she said, 'No you've been sexually assaulted, and I want you to get on the case.'"
The Child Victim's Act, which was extended twice already, expires in 30 days.


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