Malpractice News: Man Records Docs Defaming Him during Colonoscopy, Wins $500K
June 15, 2015
A Virginia man recently won $500,000 from a medical malpractice suit associated with an incident that is as odd as it may be disturbing. According to court documents associated with this case, the man underwent a colonoscopy in April 2013.
Before being put under for the procedure, the man reportedly used his phone to record the post-operative care instructions his doctor was giving him.
After receiving anesthesia, however, the man forgot to stop the recording, leaving his phone on to record the anesthesiologist and some of her assistants talking about the man during the procedure.
What Was Said: Man Mocked by Docs While Unconscious
The man became aware of just what the medical professionals had been saying about him when he was on his way home and listened to the recording. Just some of the inflammatory and upsetting statements the man heard on the recording were as follows:
- “After five minutes of talking to you in pre-op, I wanted to punch you in the face and tell man you up a little bit,” the anesthesiologist said to the unconscious man.
- Talking to one of her assistants, the anesthesiologist also stated that the assistant shouldn’t touch a rash on the man because she could contract “some syphilis on your arm” and that the rash was “penis ebola” and “probably tuberculous in the penis.”
- The anesthesiologist also stated that she knew “gay men that have more manliness” than the unconscious man.
- An assistant was recorded calling the man a “retard.”
Interestingly, doctors’ comments regarding patients are usually considered to be “privileged,” and the recording itself was put in question, as defense attorneys for the doctors argued that the recording was illegal. They tried to argue that, because the phone was in the patient’s pants (which were beneath the operating table), it shouldn’t be admissible.
Ultimately, however, the defense was unsuccessful with these arguments, and the man was awarded a $500,000 verdict, $100,000 of which was for the tuberculosis and syphilis comments alone.
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