After resigning in 2019 from Norton Audubon Hospital after he allegedly commented on and inappropriately touched a female patient’s breast while she was unconscious during surgery, a Louisville surgeon has been fined for not disclosing his disciplinary history when attempting to renew his medical license.
Dr. Jon D. Walker paid a $1,000 fine to the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure on Nov. 17 after failing to disclose, in an application for license renewal in January 2020, that he had resigned his privileges at a hospital under pressure or investigation while the subject of disciplinary proceedings. The question posed in the application was yes or no, and Walker answered no when, eight months prior, he had done just that.
In May 2019, Walker resigned after learning that he was going to be suspended following a complaint that he “inappropriately touched and commented on a female patient’s breast during surgery,” the agreed order reads. When faced with disciplinary action from the Board of Medical Licensure, Walker denied any wrongdoing. But, according to the order, “he acknowledges that, based upon the stipulations of fact, the Hearing Panel could conclude that he has engaged in conduct which violates [state statute].”
Walker resigned from Norton before further action could be taken. A year after his resignation — and four months after he failed to disclose on his license renewal — in May of 2020, that female patient sued Walker, Norton Hospitals Inc., and Community Medical Associates over the incident.
The lawsuit, filed in Jefferson Circuit Court, accuses Walker of “improperly and unnecessarily commented upon and touched (the patient’s) breast in ways that were unnecessary to touch or comment upon during the type of surgery that was being performed.” The lawsuit describes the conduct as “outrageous” and “non-consensual assault and battery.”
The patient first learned of what had allegedly happened after she was discharged. A representative of Norton Audubon contacted her to let her know there had been an “incident” during her procedure. The representative also said Walker had been confronted by someone in the operating room to tell him his actions were inappropriate. Walker denied the allegations outlined in the lawsuit.
The lawsuit, which is still ongoing and requests unspecific punitive damages, also asserted that Norton was aware of previous complaints against Walker for engaging in conduct with other female patients and employees that they felt was “inappropriate, insulting or harassing.” In a separate filing last June, Norton admitted it had been aware of those previous complaints at the time of the alleged incident.
Walker, an independent surgeon, was first licensed in 1974, according to the state board. His license is set to expire in February of 2022. Walker’s attorney did not return a request for comment.