Nurse photographed unconscious patient’s genitals during surgery and shared the images with co-workers: Lawsuit

A former employee at a Pennsylvania hospital who had an operation at her job accused a co-worker of taking photos of her private parts that were later circulated throughout the workplace.

According to the Observer-Reporterthe woman, identified as Jane Doe, filed a 39-page complaint earlier this month. In it, Doe explained that she was undergoing incisional hernia surgery at Washington Hospital when a scrub nurse snapped a photo of her exposed genitals “as [she] lay unconscious on the operating table.”

The woman said that she learned of the images after she returned from medical leave in October 2016. It was then that the scrub nurse allegedly showed Doe the photos. The next day, she found out that that the scrub nurse had shown the photos to co-workers, according to the lawsuit.

The woman claimed she reported the scrub nurse, which led to the employee’s firing.

Nevertheless, Doe said the Pennsylvania-based hospital failed to protect her from a “hostile work environment” where co-workers treated her like the “wrongdoer” and subjected her to “harassment, humiliation, and backlash,” the Observer-Reporter wrote.

The plaintiff recalled one incident in which she received a note that read “What were you thinking?” and referred to her by a vulgar name. Though she was given two weeks off in November as a “healing period,” she wasn’t moved to another unit, which she said led to her experiencing migraines and anxiety.

Doe’s primary care doctor reportedly recommended she take a three-month leave of absence but the hospital reportedly denied the request. The suit stated that she took an unpaid leave under the Family Medical Leave Act and the hospital fired her in October 2017.

Despite her firing, the plaintiff claimed she is still being harassed by her former co-workers.

“The dissemination of the pictures has stigmatized [Doe],” the suit said, according to the newspaper.

Doe accused the supervising doctor and several of her co-workers of failing to stop the scrub nurse from taking the images or to report their behavior to officials. The suit also alleges that the presence of a cellphone in the operating room put her at an increased risk for infection.

Doe said the hospital caused severe physical and emotional stress and claimed they failed to prevent future harassment from occurring. Meanwhile, Doe’s husband is suing the hospital for loss of consortium.

The woman filed a written order against multiple defendants in October. The couple is seeking damages exceeding $75,000.

A trial date has not been set.


[Featured Image: Washington Health System/Facebook]