Doctor with ties to Tri-Cities and Hanford accused of groping patients

A former Hanford doctor who still owns a home in Richland has been accused of sexual misconduct and abuse.

Dr. James A. Laurino, 73, voluntarily has surrendered his license to practice as a physician, according to the Washington Medical Commission.

The assault accusations were related to his work at a clinic in Snohomish County, where he practiced in 2017. However, the state medical commission calls him a Benton County doctor.

He owns a condo in Richland, according to Benton County records, and in 2011 he applied for membership to the Benton Franklin County Medical Society.

He listed his professional address then as the Hanford nuclear reservation’s occupational medicine clinic building in Richland.

On an out-of-date LinkedIn profile he said that he was a senior lead physician at AdvanceMed Hanford, the former occupational medicine provider for the Department of Energy at Hanford.

In 2012, AdvanceMed’s contract expired and DOE awarded the next occupational medicine contract to HPM Corp. of Kennewick, which continues to provide occupational health services for the Hanford site.

According to Washington state Department of Health records, Laurino is board certified in occupational medicine.

Laurino, who is in his early 70s, is scheduled to go to trial in Snohomish County in January on a charge of indecent liberties by a health care provider, a felony.

Accused of groping

He is accused of groping a 21-year-old patient in August 2017 in Snohomish County.

Then he offered the patient a job editing a book he was writing, according to allegations by the Washington state Medical Quality Assurance Commission.

In a second incident, he is accused on inappropriate touching of a woman who needed a pre-employment exam. No date was given in state records for the incident, which also happened in Snohomish County.

The patient told a state investigator that she was left feeling assaulted and questioning if she wanted to work for a place that employed a doctor like Laurino, according to state documents.

State investigators discovered that three other allegations of inappropriate conduct had been made to Laurino’s employer.

In one incident he is accused of writing “vulgar,” “unprofessional,” “makes you sound like a tramp” and “very ignorant” on a Post-it note for a medical assistant.

He told his employer that her words were offensive and that she needed help understanding how she is perceived, according to state records.

He remains licensed to practice medicine in Idaho, where he listed a Richland address to the state’s Board of Medicine, according to information on the board’s website.

In 2002, the Idaho State Board revoked Laurino’s license, but an Idaho District Court reversed the decision to revoke his license and dismissed the disciplinary complaint against him.

The board appealed to the Idaho Supreme Court, which affirmed two minor standard of care violations, and Laurino continued to be licensed.

Senior staff writer Annette Cary covers Hanford, energy, the environment, science and health for the Tri-City Herald. She’s been a news reporter for more than 30 years in the Pacific Northwest.