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Suit: Hospital employees posted Ohio woman’s STD diagnosis on slut-shaming Facebook page

By Travis Gettys
Wednesday, June 4, 2014 7:41 EDT
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A Cincinnati woman has sued a hospital and two employees she said posted her name and medical records – including a diagnosis with a sexually transmitted disease – on Facebook.

The lawsuit claims employees at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center posted the woman’s syphilis diagnosis, which included personal identifying information, on a page for the closed group “Team No Hoes,” reported WLWT-TV.

The posting included derogatory comments about the woman, calling her a “hoe” and a “slut,” her attorney said.

“She was absolutely devastated,” said attorney Mike Allen. “That is the most private of private medical information that was posted on Facebook and went out to a group on Facebook that had a huge dissemination.”

The group has more than 2,200 members, according to Facebook.

“To have that kind of information in the public domain when it is clearly legally to be protected, that’s a problem and that’s a problem that UC’s responsible for,” Allen said.

The woman filed suit Tuesday in Hamilton County against an employee named Ryan Rawls, an unnamed UC employee believed to be a nurse, and the woman’s ex-boyfriend, Raphael Bradley.

Allen said Bradley convinced the hospital employees to release his client’s medical records, which he said violated state and federal law.

Neither Rawls nor Bradley was available for comment, WLWT reported.

A spokeswoman for UC Medical Center said the hospital had not yet received the lawsuit, and she does not comment on pending litigation.

But Allen said his client had suffered devastating consequences.

“She doesn’t want to go out,” he said. “She doesn’t want to talk to people. People who were formerly her friends have made fun of her for it. She’s chastised in the community, and all of this could’ve been avoided if UC Med Center had proper protections in place.”

The suit asks UC Medical Center to examine its procedures to ensure similar breaches do not occur, and the woman is also seeking $25,000 in damages in a jury trial.

Update: UC Medical Center said the records had been improperly accessed by a financial services employee, who has been fired, and the hospital reminded all employees that unauthorized access to medical records is prohibited.

Watch this video report posted online by WLWT-TV:

 
 
 
 
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