Jackson County

She was fired after confronting Coast doctor for sexually assaulting her, lawsuit says

On Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, Time magazine named the #MeToo movement or the "Silence Breakers" as the "Person of the Year," a nod to the millions of people who came forward with their stories of sexual harassment, assault and rape.
On Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, Time magazine named the #MeToo movement or the "Silence Breakers" as the "Person of the Year," a nod to the millions of people who came forward with their stories of sexual harassment, assault and rape. TNS/file

Long before the #MeToo movement made national headlines, a Moss Point woman says she lost her job with a Coast doctor after she confronted him about his alleged “repeated sexual assaults” against her.

Roselyn Hall is seeking more than $100,000 in damages from former Ocean Springs doctor Ricardo Merlos. The anesthesiologist practiced in Ocean Springs at the time of the alleged assaults, but is now practicing in Meridian.

“I had some evidence,” Hall said Wednesday. “It was recording of me confronting him. I did not quit. When I confronted him, I presented my evidence to his wife and then I got released. They couldn’t afford me anymore. It was like the next day.”

Her attorney, David Frazier, compared the allegations against Merlos to those against former Michigan Rep. John Conyers, who was accused him of making unwanted advances and mistreatment. Frazier plans to amend the lawsuit to say Hall was actually let go after the alleged confrontation.

Hall is asking for compensation for the actual, compensatory and punitive damages for pain and suffering, emotional distress, the loss of past wages and the cost of past and future medical expenses incurred by her as a result of the alleged treatment. The jury trial is set to begin in February before Judge Robert Krebs.

At the time of alleged assaults, Hall worked for Merlos and his wife at their then Ocean Springs home, though the lawsuit does not name Merlos’ wife as a co-defendant in the case. Hall’s job, the complaint said, included duties as an assistant to Merlos’ wife to run errands in addition to her regular housekeeping duties.

Hall had worked for the family for 20 years before her job ended in November 2016.

The complaint does not provide any specifics about the alleged sexual assaults, such as dates or times the offenses occurred, something the doctor’s attorney, Earl Denham, is requesting in order to respond to the allegations.

In addition to making unwanted sexual comments to Hall, Frazier said, Merlos “was placing his hands on her and touching her in ways that were not appropriate for any employer to touch an employee.”

Margaret Baker: 228-896-0538, @Margar45

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