A judge ruled this week that the University of Cincinnati Medical Center can’t be sued after an employee posted a patient’s private medical records on Facebook.
The case stemmed from a 2013 incident involving a hospital employee who posted a snapshot of a woman’s medical record that listed her diagnosis as “maternal syphilis.” What’s worse, the hospital employee posted the pic to a Facebook group called “Team No Hoes.”
The woman filed a suit last year naming the employee responsible for the leak, her ex-boyfriend and the hospital. However, a judge ruled that Ohio case law dictates she drop the hospital from the suit. Because the employee was not acting “within the scope of her employment, her employer cannot be held responsible. But still, there’s no doubt she suffered gravely from the post, and will most definitely pursue further legal action.
“She’s suffered great humiliation,” her lawyer said. “That’s what so horrible about this.”
There are many lessons to be learned from this entire Facebook fiasco. First of all, never share sensitive information on the site that could get you in trouble. Even if it’s in a private group, you can beg that it’ll escape somehow. Second of all, if you’re the victim of a serious privacy infringement like this, you can’t necessarily count on the law upholding your case. Even though it seems cut-and-dried, much of the law is still catching up the realities of the social media age.