A man from New York City is suing a hospital for releasing his HIV status to his workplace.
The New York Daily News reports a former Actors Equity employee is currently suing Mount Sinai St Luke’s Hospital for carelessly releasing his HIV information.
“My most intimate and personal secrets were broadcast for anyone who happened to be walking by my office fax machine,” said the employee, who wished not to be named. “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.”
Due to his status, the 30-year-old male refers to himself as John Doe. He’s suing the hospital for $2.5 million for negligence. Court documents stated the hospital sent the medical document to his office mailroom.
He specifically told the hospital to mail the documents to a post office box. The faxed medical documents made their way to his supervisor.
The leak caused him to quit his job as it lead to him to confess his HIV status to friends and family:
“I simply could not stay with that company,” he said. “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.”
He was diagnosed with HIV in 2014 and he filed the lawsuit on Friday. Disregarding his specific instructions to mail the documents to a post office box, the clinic faxed them to his office. Mt. Sinai admitted to violating HIPPA policies. The hospital recently paid a fine of $387,000 to the United States Department of Human and Health Services.
His attorney Jeffrey Lichtman says the hospital refuses to settle with his client:
“It’s bad enough to be diagnosed with HIV, but to have his health records sent to his place of work for everyone to see compounds a very difficult situation,” said Lichtman. “His family was not aware of his status and everyone at work was.”