Beverly Hills nurse files assault lawsuit against prominent doctor

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A local nurse filed a lawsuit after she said her boss assaulted her at a Beverly Hills medical office - and there is surveillance video of the incident. (KABC)

A nurse filed a lawsuit after she said her boss assaulted her at a Beverly Hills medical office - and there is surveillance video of the incident.

Nurse Paula Rickey has been a nurse for seven years and worked at 90210 Surgery Medical Center for five years.

Dr. Kerry Assil, an ophthalmologist with the surgery center, is at the center of the lawsuit she filed on Monday.

Grainy surveillance video from the corner of the medical office shows the moment, Rickey said, her boss assaulted her last June.

"As I was walking out of the operating suite he came up behind me, shoved the back of my head violently and then I stopped in front of a bathroom and stood there, and he called me back over and goes, 'I know I can do this because you like the abuse,'" Rickey recalled.

Not only does Rickey accuse him of physically assaulting her, the lawsuit claims: "Assil exhibited an interest in sexual exploitation of Rickey, and that Assil's sexual desires toward Rickey were a substantial factor motivating Assil's batteries on Rickey."

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, an affiliate of 90210 Surgery Medical Center, said in part, "We take great care to protect Cedars-Sinai employees as they do their work, and that means we take complaints seriously, investigate them thoroughly and act promptly."

But Rickey said an investigation was conducted, and she feels the only person reprimanded was her. She claims they forced her to quit.

"They had asked me, 'What do you want? And I said, 'I want to continue my job, and I want to feel safe here, and I want him gone,'" she said.

"After that, they accommodated him. They made me work on a separate floor. My work hours were reduced because of that," she continued.

Since leaving the medical center, Rickey said she's stopped working and is focusing her efforts on the lawsuit.

"I took a ton of pride in that position," she said. "I worked hard for it, and when that is taken away from you, you feel pretty empty."

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