Lawsuits filed Tuesday alleged overt, inappropriate sexual behavior toward employees by former Marshfield dentist Dr. Kevin Pierce.
The suits were filed against Marshfield Family Dental and its parent company, Missouri Dental Professionals, Richard Straus, DMD, PC.
The plaintiffs in all six cases are female employees who worked in Dr. Pierce’s practice. All are represented by Bolivar attorney Jay Kirksey. They include Pamela Denise Suchy, Meghan Eakin, Kyla Hodges, Angela Anderson, Marsha Booher and Amanda Pohlenz.
The filings outline that while they worked as an employee of Marshfield Family Dental, "Dr. Kevin Pierce engaged in inappropriate, unwelcome and unlawful sexual harassment conduct toward plaintiff and related a hostile work environment toward females as a gender by his statements and conduct toward females, including plaintiff, other female employees and female patients of the clinic."
The petitions describe a number of inappropriate acts that Dr. Pierce is alleged to have engaged in. The actions of the dentist are described in the complaints as continuous, pervasive and severe.
The documents also assert that Chris Pierce, the wife of Dr. Pierce, also engaged in inappropriate conduct, fostering a hostile environment toward women.
The lawsuits spell out that the defendants retaliated against the plaintiffs by threatening their continued employment at the local office and threatening to close the office if the plaintiffs did not agree to the return of Dr. Pierce. Additionally, the lawsuits allege that Dr. Pierce was unfriendly, demoting the plaintiffs' skill and job duties and failing to communicate with them so that they could perform their jobs.
Attorney Kirksey told The Mail, "Unfortunately there existed an environment at the Marshfield Clinic of which no person would want their daughter, wife or mother to be subject to because of their gender."
Added Kirksey, "I have litigated for 31 years, and the conduct that occurred here is as hostile toward gender as I've seen."
Kirksey added that patients, too, may have witnessed inappropriate conduct while in the office.
Reached at his Springfield practice today, Dr. Pierce had not yet read the filing and was not prepared to comment at this time. He did note, however, that there are two sides to every story.
This is a breaking news story that we will update online and in print as more information becomes available.