Flashback to the NFL offseason last year and one of the biggest stories from July onwards was the story of Jason Pierre-Paul and his fireworks incident which caused him to lose some of the fingers on his hand.
The incident caused the defensive end having his right index finger surgically removed by doctors, but we only managed to find out the finer details of the surgery because ESPN's Adam Schefter was able to obtain Pierre-Paul's medical charts, which he leaked online via Twitter.
Now, the 27-year-old has decided to sue ESPN and Schefter for the exposure of his medical chart, according to Pro Football Talk.
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Pierre-Paul has already had a settlement with the hospital that leaked his medical records to Schefter, and the hospital has also fired the two employees that were responsible. The defensive end has since moved on to sue the network and their reporter for posting the information online and broadcasting it on TV.
Julia Marsh of the New York Post reported a snippet from the lawsuit which says: "This action arises out of ESPN reporter Schefter’s blatant disregard for the private and confidential nature of plaintiff’s medical records, all so Schefter could show the world that he had ‘supporting proof’ of a surgical procedure.”
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Considering everyone knew that Pierre-Paul had injured his hand, there wasn't really any need to post a photo of his medical records. Releasing the medical records is a breach of doctor-patient confidentiality and although he isn't a medical professional so therefore this rule doesn't apply to him, Schefter should have still respected this rule.
PFT have stated Schefter said at the time he didn't see a problem with posting the information, but he admitted he should have done more before doing so.
“It didn’t look to me as if there was anything else in there that could be considered sensitive,” Schefter said at the time. “NFL reporters report on all kinds of medical information on a daily basis. That’s part of the job. The only difference here was that there was a photo.
“[I]n a day and age in which pictures and videos tell stories and confirm facts, in which sources and their motives are routinely questioned, and in which reporters strive to be as accurate as possible, this was the ultimate supporting proof.”
The picture of his injured hand should have been enough to confirm the fact he was injured, not his medical records. At the end of the day, the medical records should have never been posted onto social media for millions of people around the world to see.
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