Pierre-Paul lawsuit cites specific Florida statute on medical records

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The decision of Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul to file an invasion of privacy lawsuit against ESPN and Adam Schefter has sparked a debate regarding the merits of the case.

The paperwork initiating the case has now been disclosed, and it appears that Pierre-Paul’s claims will have at least some traction.

The civil complaint filed in a Florida state court in Miami (and posted by Deadspin) alleges that ESPN and Schefter violated Florida Statute 456.057 by disclosing the medical record obtained from the hospital where Pierre-Paul had a finger amputated. Specifically, Section 456.057(11) states that a third party who receives a patient’s medical record “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.”

Although the balance of Section 456.057(11) seems to suggest that the prohibition applies where the disclosure to a third party was made legally, a third party who obtained the medical record improperly arguably should not receive any sort of implied immunity to re-publish the document.

The lawsuit also alleges invasion of privacy under what’s known as the “common law” (i.e., generally-accepted legal principles that apply independent of a statute, regulation, of other codified provision).

Obviously, neither Schefter nor ESPN researched Florida law before publishing the medical record. And most of the armchair lawyers who commented on the matter focused only on the federal HIPAA law, which applies only to medical providers.

But state law also applies, and Florida law potentially has two different approaches for Pierre-Paul to pursue.

Which is all the more reason for a reporter to never publish a medical record without express written consent to do so.

26 responses to “Pierre-Paul lawsuit cites specific Florida statute on medical records

  1. The decision of Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul to file an invasion of privacy lawsuit against ESPN and Adam Schefter has …

    instantly turned me into a JPP fan. Go get ’em.

  2. Being a public figure has nothing to do with this. What Adam and ESPN did was wrong and violated state law; the smart thing to do is settle out of court and consider this a lesson learned.

  3. Even though he lost some money with his contract situation, Schefter was totally in the wrong, I feel JPP will get some of that money back…

    What is going to be be REALLY funny though is how Schefter feels when ESPN throws him under the bus claiming he “tweeted from a personel account not linked to espn”

  4. ESPN showed the actual form on one of their Sportscenters or Between the Lines, etc… it was right there on TV…

    HIPPA has nothing to do with either of these. The Hospital settled out of court probably without admitting specific guilt.

  5. bigredgoog
    Feb 25, 2016, 9:12 PM EST
    Two thoughts:

    1) Public Figure
    2) U.S. Constitution Freedom of the Press


    The constitution does not protect an individual from invasion of privacy or slander. The amendment was meant to protect the press from the government when they spoke out against the government.

  6. bigredgoog says:
    Feb 25, 2016 9:12 PM
    Two thoughts:

    1) Public Figure
    2) U.S. Constitution Freedom of the Press
    Did you go to Trump’s law school?

    33vikes says:
    Feb 25, 2016 9:42 PM
    What are his damages? Everyone knows he blew his hand off.
    Would you want your wife’s pictures giving birth, all over the internet, because everyone knows she had kids?

  7. Good luck, JPP. ESPN is just another tabloid masquerading as a news agency. We have a tabloid culture that salivates over invasion of privacy, and every little detail the tabloids can sniff out or make up. Just look at the magazines at the cash registers anywhere in this country for proof. Hope you win millions from them, JPP.

  8. Don’t see JPP getting much because he wasn’t damaged by the report- it was accurate. He will get something. More importantly to me, the reporter should be facing criminal charges.

  9. Both Schefter and ESPN need to learn a lesson. Their personal and corporate notoriety still imposes limits on what they are allowed to do. The assumption that both he and ESPN can publish anything they want with impunity, once proved wrong in court, must be met with a penalty that is as still as their actions were morally repugnant. It would also carry a very important warning to others ie, the big boys are not going to get away with this and neither will you.

  10. The media / press is out of control in this country. They say what they want (regardless of truth) and claim “free speech”. Freedom of Speech was meant to air claims of oppression or opinion of differing philosophy or doctrine…not to slander individuals with rumor or speculation about their personal matters of affairs. …

  11. ESPN isn’t going to let some law get in the way of a top story, after all they are the “World wide leader in “we do whatever the hell we want”. Although they aren’t real bright because anyone with a pea for a brain knows you don’t reveal personal medical info on anyone without their permission. Hope JPP nails them.

  12. The disdain for ESPN these days is overwhelming. I’ve lost so much respect for that company over the last few years. The fact that Schefter was never reprimanded or even bothered to apologize after this is absurd. I hope that jock sniffing weasel gets what he deserves.

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