Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul already has reached a settlement with the hospital that leaked his medical records to Adam Schefter of ESPN. Pierre-Paul is now suing Schefter and ESPN, a development that really isn’t all that surprising.
Julia Marsh of the New York Post reports that Pierre-Paul has sued the network and its NFL insider in Florida for improperly obtaining Pierre-Paul’s chart regarding surgery to remove his index finger and posting the information to Schefter’s millions of Twitter followers. ESPN thereafter televised the image of the medical record.
“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,” the lawsuit states, via Marsh.
ESPN and Schefter declined comment to the Post, through a spokesperson.
In a July interview with SI.com, Schefter admitted that he “could and should have done more” before posting the image of the medical record. But it was clear in the same interview that Schefter didn’t see the problem with publishing a photo of Pierre-Paul’s chart.
“It didn’t look to me as if there was anything else in there that could be considered sensitive,” Schefter said at the time. “NFL reporters report on all kinds of medical information on a daily basis. That’s part of the job. The only difference here was that there was a photo.”
That doesn’t mean the photo needed to be shared with the world.
“[I]n a day and age in which pictures and videos tell stories and confirm facts, in which sources and their motives are routinely questioned, and in which reporters strive to be as accurate as possible, this was the ultimate supporting proof,” Schefter said at the time. (Actually, the ultimate proof was on Pierre-Paul’s hand.)
The photo of the record also contained information regarding another patient, and it came at a time when multiple reporters were reporting that Pierre-Paul’s index finger had been amputated. No one was denying it, everyone was reporting it, and sharing the image of the photo was unnecessary.