NYC hospital sued for $2.5 million, allegedly disclosed patient’s HIV diagnosis

Hospital allegedly faxed the man’s diagnosis to his employer

NYC hospital sued for $2.5 million, allegedly disclosed patient’s HIV diagnosis

Life & Health

By Lyle Adriano

A man only identified as “John Doe” in court documents has filed a lawsuit against a New York City Hospital he claims revealed details regarding his HIV status to his employer.

Mount Sinai-St. Luke’s Hospital is facing a $2.5 million lawsuit after one of its clinics allegedly faxed the plaintiff’s medical records to his employer’s mailroom. The lawsuit was filed earlier this month, on September 09.

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“My most intimate and personal secrets were broadcast for anyone who happened to be walking by my office fax machine,” the plaintiff told the New York Daily News in an interview. “For years now, I have been struggling to cope with how my life was changed by the unbelievably careless act of the people who I trusted with my care.”

The lawsuit claims that the plaintiff was being treated at Mount Sinai-St. Luke’s Hospital’s Spencer Cox Clinic in 2014. The plaintiff asked for his records so that he could send them to another clinic, specifically requesting hospital staff to send the documents to a post office box.

The plaintiff had been diagnosed with HIV just a few months earlier.

The medical records, which indicated his HIV-positive status, ended up with the plaintiff’s supervisor. Due to this, the plaintiff was forced to quit his job and tell his family and friends about his medical condition – something he had not prepared to do.

“I simply could not stay with that company,” he explained. “I was in a constant state of apprehension about whether or not a colleague or supervisor was looking at me differently because they knew about my diagnosis. The paranoia and anxiety was too much.”

According to court papers, the hospital has called the mistake “egregious” and a “breach” of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

Mount Sinai-St. Luke’s Hospital paid a $387,000 fine to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, which launched an investigation building on the complaint.

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