WEARSIDE women are among those taking legal action against a bank for employing a doctor who allegedly abused workers.
Dr Gordon Bates was hired by Barclays Bank decades ago to give medicals to new staff, many of who were school leavers.
But scores of people have contacted police to say that the Newcastle GP, who died in 2009 aged 73, subjected them to humiliating sexual abuse.
The claims date back to the 1970s and 80s and the alleged victims are now filing a lawsuit against the company for negligence. Police have written to 48 people, many of them from Sunderland, to say that were Dr Bates still alive, he would be subject to prosecution.
Solicitor Chris Shaw, whose firm Shaw and Co Solicitors are representing many of the alleged victims, said: “We say Barclays had a duty of care as an employer but failed to supervise, take proper care and monitor.”
A spokesman for Barclays said Dr Bates worked for many companies across the North East – not just Barclays
He said: “Last year Barclays became aware of an allegation about a GP who conducted pre-employment medicals in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
“The information was immediately shared with the Northumbria Police, who have investigated the allegations.
“Barclays has done all it can to help the police enquiry and to support employees involved in this sensitive investigation.”