Woman alleges she was used as 'bait' to catch Omaha doctor inappropriately touching patients

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT)-- A twist in the civil cases against an Omaha doctor accused of inappropriately touching two female patients while under anesthesia has been unveiled.

One woman says an orthopedic hospital secretly used her surgery to catch the doctor in the act.

Deb Lowndes alleges in a lawsuit filed by Omaha attorney Dave Domina that she wasn’t told before her hip surgery that the hospital was using a trained eye to possibly catch Dr. Mark Dietrich inappropriately touching her while she was under anesthesia.

“They had their suspicions and so they planted a nurse in my surgery to catch him. They set me up, they used me as bait to catch this doctor,” said Lowndes.

According to the lawsuit, the hospital staff allegedly witnesses inappropriate touching.

The lawsuit alleges that rather than reporting their suspicions about Dr. Dietrich to law enforcement, management of the Nebraska Orthopedic Hospital decided instead to conduct their own investigation, placing a trained observer in the surgical suite during Lowndes’s surgery.

Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine encourages people and businesses to not conduct their own investigations, it could tip off the perpetrator before the police have the opportunity to conduct interviews.

“Ortho Nebraska can’t comment on patient care allegations but states in terms of circumstances, in this case, our team followed Nebraska Law, notified authorities, and was told no further assistance was needed,” said a statement from Ortho Nebraska.

“I am very angry because they used me as bait, they didn’t tell me. They could have hired a private detective to go in there and pretend they were me to maybe pretend to get the surgery to catch him,” said Lowndes.

Dr. Mark Dietrich answered a separate lawsuit against him by denying Ms. Lowndes was assaulted. And responded that acts taken during her surgery were directly related to the procedure.

“The surgery is on the outer side of my hip. It’s nowhere near my private areas. It’s nowhere certainly up on my chest,” said Lowndes.

Lowndes only knows the allegations about being inappropriately touched because an Omaha Police Detective told her. That was over two years ago.

Nebraska Orthopedic Hospital tells us that Dr. Mark Dietrich was never an employee and his privileges to practice there ended in December 2016.

That’s when Deb had her surgery.

Dietrich’s lawyer has not returned 6 News’s messages.