Jason Pierre-Paul wants an ESPN reporter sacked for releasing medical records about his mangled hand.
According to the New York Post, the New York Giants' defensive end has filed a lawsuit against ESPN and reporter Adam Schefter for violating his privacy and releasing details of his badly injured hand, which was mangled by Fourth of July fireworks.
Schefter tweeted JPP's medical record four days after the incident, proving that he had a finger amputated.
JPP says that his medical record was improperly obtained and a violation of the 1996-instituted Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which protects medical records and thus ensures patient privacy.
“This action arises out of ESPN reporter Schefter’s blatant disregard for the private and confidential nature of plaintiff’s medical records, all so Schefter could show the world that he had ‘supporting proof’ of a surgical procedure,” part of the lawsuit alleges, as reported by the Post.
A week after releasing the medical records, Shefter explained to Sports Illustrated that details of JPP's injury were going to be released quickly, whether he released them or not.
"This was a public figure and franchise player involved in a widely speculated accident with potential criminal behavior in which there was a cone of secrecy that surrounded him for five days that not even his own team could crack," Schefter said. "This wasn’t as if some player were admitted to the hospital with a secret illness or disease — we’ve seen those cases over the years, as recently as this past year even. This one was different and unique for a variety of reasons. The extent of his injuries were going to come to light, maybe that day or later that week, but soon."
He wouldn't reveal how he obtained the medical records, but did, in hindsight, seem to admit he should have exercised more care with HIPAA laws.
"All I will say is I never once requested a single image from anyone at any time... the images came to me, Schefter said.
He added: "I know news organizations are not governed by HIPAA laws, but in hindsight I could and should have done even more here due to the sensitivity of the situation. We’ve got a great group of editors and production staff, and I could have leaned on them even more. ESPN has trusted me on any number of stories over the years, and granted me great latitude, fortunately. Sometimes in the fast-paced news world we live in, it’s easy to forget you should lean on the knowledge and experience of the people surrounding you. They’re always there for everything, but especially stories like this. On this one, there should have been even more discussion than there was due to the sensitivity of the story; that’s on me."
A photo of Jason's injured hand hit the Internet during the 2015 season...and it's not for the weak of heart to see. He later showed his injured hand to the media as well.
Should JPP's beef be with Schefter or the hospital that released the records, if that's indeed what happened?
It will be interesting to see the way this plays out.
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