Woman says doctor distributed photos of her chest

By Kyla Asbury | Nov 21, 2011

HUNTINGTON -- A Huntington woman is suing University Physicians & Surgeons for negligence and outrageous conduct.

Dr. Adel A. Faltaous was also named as a defendant in the suit.

L. Linda Mays underwent a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery of her left breast, including a breast implant, which eventually ruptured, according to a complaint filed Oct. 31 in Cabell Circuit Court.

Mays claims on Oct. 20, 2010, she went to Faltaous for a consultation to determine whether he could repair the rupture and whether her health insurance would cover the cost of the procedure.

During the consultation, Faltaous took photographs of Mays' breast, which he assured were for his reference and would not be shared with anyone, according to the suit.

Mays claims on Nov. 1, 2010, she was in her office at St. Mary's Medical Center when a representative from the hospital's human resources department gave her an envelope that had been received and opened by the office.

The representative explained that the human resources department had reviewed the contents of the envelope and determined the envelope should not have been sent to them, then taped it closed and gave it to Mays, according to the suit.

Mays claims in the envelope was a photograph of her naked chest that was taken during her consultation on Oct. 20 in Faltaous' office.

When she contacted Faltaous' office, Mays was told the photograph had been sent to St. Mary's because the hospital required pre-authorization for surgery, according to the suit.

Mays claims she discovered later that Faltaous' office had previously done the same thing to another St. Mary's employee, at which time Teresa Caserta, who was the St. Mary's Benefits Coordinator, advised the doctor's office that the hospital did not require such information.

The defendants had a duty to protect Mays' confidential medical information from unnecessary and/or inappropriate disclosure, according to the suit.

Mays is seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. She is being represented by Jeffrey V. Mehalic.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge David M. Pancake.

Cabell Circuit Court case number: 11-C-815

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