HUNTINGTON – A Huntington woman is suing the Marshall University Board of Governors after she claims photographs of her chest were distributed without her consent.
L. Linda Mays underwent a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery of her left breast, including a breast implant, according to a complaint filed Feb. 22 in Cabell Circuit Court.
Mays claims the implant ruptured and on Oct. 20, 2010, she went to Dr. Adel A. Faltaous for consultation to determine whether the plastic surgeon could repair the rupture, and Faltaous took photographs of her breast for reference.
On Nov. 1, 2010, Mays 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, according to the suit.
Mays claims the representative explained that the human resources department had reviewed the contents of the envelope and determined that it should not have been sent to them, then taped it closed and gave it to her.
The photograph did not show her face, but her name and date of birth were written on it with a black marker, so there was no mistaking whose body was depicted, according to the suit.
Mays claims she became upset, immediately contacted Faltaous’ office and spoke with the office manager, who explained that the photographs had been sent to St. Mary’s because the hospital required preauthorization for her surgery.
Following the conversation, Mays went to St. Mary’s Human Resource Director Dan Weaver, whom she did not know well, and explained the situation, according to the suit, and Weaver contacted Teresa Caserta, who was the hospital’s benefits coordinator, and she joined them and explained that Faltaous’ office was mistaken, the suit says.
Mays claims Caserta also explained that Faltaous’ office had done the same thing with another St. Mary’s employee, at which time Caserta had advised them that St. Mary’s did not require such information.
The defendant, through its employees, agents and servants, had a duty not to share or disclose Mays’ confidential medical information to those who were not authorized or entitled to it, according to the suit.
Mays claims the defendant breached its duties and in doing so, caused her permanent and irreparable harm.
The defendant’s actions were a breach of confidentiality and were done so without a written authorization for release of the information from Mays, according to the suit.
Mays is seeking judgment in an amount under and up to the limits of the defendant’s liability insurance. She is being represented by Jeffrey V. Mehalic of the Law Offices of Jeffrey V. Mehalic.
The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge F. Jane Hustead.
In 2011, Mays filed a suit against Faltaous and University Physicians & Surgeons for the distribution of the photographs.
Cabell Circuit Court case number: 13-C-124