Last summer New York Giants Jason Pierre-Paul blew up part of his right hand in a fireworks accident. He was admitted to Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital to have procedures done to save his hand, wherein the media rushed to find out more information, which is when Adam Schefter tweeted out two images of Pierre-Paul’s medical records.
The hospital has already fired two employees because of the leak, they also settled out of court with an undisclosed party due to the leak (most likely Pierre-Paul). Now Pierre-Paul is suing ESPN and Scheffer for publication of the medical charts.
The HIPAA Privacy Rule does not apply to reporters, so instead Pierre-Paul is suing under Florida statute §456.057. The statute states that medical records cannot be given to or discussed with anyone who is not in care of patient. On the face of the statute it seems to apply to only those in care of Pierre-Paul, but there is one section that may be applicable to Schefter. §456.057 (11) says “Records owners are responsible for maintaining a record of all disclosures of information contained in the medical record to a third party, including the purpose of the disclosure request. The record of disclosure may be maintained in the medical record. The third party to whom information is disclosed is prohibited from further disclosing any information in the medical record without the expressed written consent of the patient or the patient’s legal representative.”
Applying this to Pierre-Paul’s case means that when Schefter received access to the medical charts he was required to receive “expressed written consent” from Pierre-Paul to further disclose the information.
This case will not be easy for Pierre-Paul to win if the court views Florida statute §456.057 as applicable only to medical personnel, but I think everyone understands why he is bringing this suit.
You can read the complaint below.