NURSE ABUSE VICTIMS TO SUE
VICTIMS of Launceston General Hospital paedophile nurse James Geoffrey Griffin are suing the state government for damages, in what is believed to be the first civil action lodged in the case.
The horrific crimes of prolific offender Griffin, below, first came to light last year in The Nurse podcast, which revealed the registered nurse, now deceased, had molested a number of children and young people during 18 years while working at Launceston General Hospital’s paediatric centre.
The Mercury can now reveal two of his alleged victims filed proceedings against the Tasmanian Health Service in the Supreme Court of Tasmania last week. Another two claims could possibly be filed later this week.
VICTIMS of notorious Launceston General Hospital paedophile nurse James Geoffrey Griffin are suing the state government for damages, in what is believed to be the first civil action lodged in the high-profile disaster.
The horrific crimes of prolific offender Griffin first came to light last year in The Nurse podcast, which revealed the registered nurse had molested a number of children and young people during 18 years while working at Launceston General Hospital’s paediatric centre.
Griffin died by suicide in October 2019 after criminal charges were finally laid against him.
The Mercury can now reveal two of his alleged victims filed proceedings against the Tasmanian Health Service in the Supreme Court of Tasmania last week.
According to their statements of claim, the two young women were admitted as inpatients to the paediatric centre as teenagers for treatment.
But they allege Griffin soon began to sexually abuse them.
One of the girls said Griffin groomed her by calling her “baby girl”, “darling”, “special girl” – often when she was heavily sedated.
She said Griffin then sexually abused her while taking observations, including while measuring her blood pressure and changing her into hospital gowns.
He then allegedly told the girl “don’t tell anyone”, “that’s what friends do”, “this is our thing” and “this is our little secret”.
The other girl said Griffin also groomed her by establishing an emotional connection with her, spending time alone with her to “lower her inhibitions”.
She said the paedophile was “forceful and intimidating”, telling her to not tell anyone after he abused her.
Griffin also allegedly abused the girls after gaining their trust – at sleepovers at his home and while camping.
He allegedly sedated and molested one of the girls at a Burnie hotel when he took her away for a go-karting trip. The girls said they complained to nurses and the nurse ward manager about Griffin’s conduct, but their complaints were ignored.
Law firm Arnold Thomas & Becker says the hospital breached the duty of care it owed to the girls as patients between 2015 and 2018.
“What is extraordinary about this case is that there had been a large number of complaints made to Launceston General Hospital about Griffin by many people, including patients, staff and parents,” lawyer Kim Price said.
“Despite these complaints, we allege the Tasmanian Health Service failed to intervene and enabled Griffin to continue to work there and prey on minors.”
Both girls say they have suffered serious harm as a result of the abuse, with trauma ranging from post traumatic stress disorder to self-harm, major depression and body dysmorphic disorder.
Arnold Thomas & Becker is expecting to lodge another two claims, possibly later this week. It will run the claims as separate actions, abandoning earlier plans to instigate a class action against the Tasmanian Health Service, due to each case having unique circumstances.
Revelations about Griffin raised over the past year will be examined at the upcoming Commission of Inquiry into the Tasmanian government’s Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Institutional Settings.