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Doctor shared photos of woman’s drunken ER trip on social media, lawsuit claims

By Travis Gettys
Friday, December 6, 2013 9:44 EDT
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Elena Chernyakova WLS
 
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A woman has sued a doctor who posted photos of her on social media after she was treated for alcohol poisoning at a Chicago-area hospital.

Aspiring actress Elena Chernyakova was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital last summer after drinking too much, and she and a friend contacted an acquaintance who was doing a fellowship there.

The 22-year-old Chernyakova said her family is in Russia, so she thought it would be helpful to have Dr. Vinaya Puppala stand by for moral support.

But she said Puppala took photos of her while she was intoxicated and posted them on Facebook and Instagram, tagged with text such as “Cuvee #bottle #service #gone #bad.”

Another post invited friends for rooftop cocktails across from the emergency room while Chernyakova recovered.

Chernyakova, a former Northwestern University tennis player, said a security guard asked Puppala to delete the photos, but she later found out he hadn’t.

So she filed a lawsuit against Puppala, the hospital and Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, where the doctor was doing his fellowship.

“If I didn’t raise a voice and legally pursue this, then how many other patients would this happen to in the future?” Chernyakova said.

The suit claims Puppala violated Chernyakova’s privacy by sharing the photos, which have not been released as part of the lawsuit, and accessing her medical records, which her attorney said the hospital had confirmed.

Only her attending physician should have had access to those records, her attorney said.

Watch this video report posted online by WLS-TV:

 
 
 
 
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