In the early days of the pandemic, Dr. Jason Campbell provided some TikTok users with hope, thanks in large part to the inspirational videos he posted to his page. Although the videos were the reason that Campbell rose to prominence, he's now in the news for much more serious reasons. As The Oregonian first reported, the doctor is now being sued for $45 million.
Why is TikTok doctor Jason Campbell being sued?
In a lawsuit filed on Feb. 26, Campbell is accused by a former co-worker of inappropriate touching and sexual harassment. The accusations come from a social worker who used to work alongside Campbell at the VA Medical Center in Portland. The lawsuit alleges that the harassment happened from January to March of last year, and Campbell's current employer, Oregon Health & Science University, is also being sued.
During one specific incident on March 12 of last year, the suit alleges that Campbell "snuck up quietly behind plaintiff and without plaintiff's express or implied consent," proceeded to press his erection against her.
Following the incident, Campbell said that he should've asked permission before doing that in a text message after he was confronted by the plaintiff.
Jason Campbell is also accused of sending explicit text messages.
In addition to the accusations of physical harassment, Campbell is also accused of sending sexually explicit text messages and videos, including a photo of his penis that he sent in January. The lawsuit alleges that Campbell's actions caused "severe, substantial, enduring emotional distress, discomfort, and interference with usual life activities."
The plaintiff has decided to remain anonymous in large part because of concerns over harassment. The lawsuit says that, after she reported the harassment to the school, she was subjected to retaliation and vandalism. Campbell gained notoriety on TikTok largely after the events alleged in the lawsuit, thanks to the increased focus on health brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jason Campbell has already been investigated for harassment once before.
The lawsuit claims that Campbell was already investigated for harassment in August by OHSU, his employer. The investigation apparently found that Campbell has violated the school's policies, has sent "electronic messages of a sexual nature" on numerous occasions, and was given repeated warnings to stop. The investigation also apparently corroborated the plaintiff's claim that Campbell had touched her inappropriately at the VA.
The suit also alleges that OHSU is culpable for Campbell's actions, in part because they helped him to cover them up.
"OHSU does not condone behavior as described in the lawsuit," a spokesperson for the school told The Oregonian. "We are continuously working to evolve our culture, policies and practices to provide an environment where all learners, employees, patients and visitors feel safe and welcome.
"We take our role seriously in being part of the change that needs to happen across our country to end discrimination and power dynamics that allow for harassment," the spokesperson continued. "We remain committed to these ideals and will continue to prioritize them as a public leader in health care, education and research."