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Woman suing hospital, doctors over prank during surgery

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#1 Hum

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 15:16

A Los Angeles woman is suing an area hospital and her anesthesiologist for allegedly putting a mustache and stickers on her face during surgery as part of a prank that she claims violated her dignity and endangered her health.

The unidentified woman, who worked as a surgical supply purchaser at the hospital, said her coworkers affixed a fake mustache above her lip and yellow tear drops below her left eye before a nurse snapped a photo, according to the suit.

"Perhaps the most vulnerable position any human being will ever endure in their life is a time when they are placed under full anesthesia," reads the lawsuit, which claims the woman was fully anesthetized rather than sedated "for the sole purpose of humiliating and embarrassing the patient."

The woman said that she learned of the prank when she returned to work after the October 2011 surgery and was approached by some coworkers who had seen the photos. Other coworkers avoided her, she claims.

She filed suit against Dr. Patrick Yang of Torrance Memorial Medical Center on August 15 in Los Angeles County Superior court.

 Torrance Memorial acknowledged the mustache photo incident in a statement to ABC News, saying the prank was "intended to be humorous in nature." And although the anesthesiologist and the nurse "demonstrated poor judgment," the hospital maintains that most of the woman's allegations are "factually inaccurate, grossly exaggerated or fabricated."

"While the breach of professionalism outlined above regrettably did occur, Torrance Memorial is vigorously defending this lawsuit and requesting its dismissal," the statement reads, stressing that anesthesiologist Yang and the patient were "friendly" and "had a good working relationship."

 The woman claims in the lawsuit that she was unable to return to work at the hospital because of "mental anguish" and "emotional and physical distress" prompted by the prank.

Beyond the "intentional infliction of emotional distress," she's accusing Yang and the hospital of defamation, invasion of privacy, negligence and civil conspiracy as well as battery and sexual harassment for "placing obscene images on her face" and positioning her neck "so that they could keep her mouth open in order to make a crude sexual joke."

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#2 Xerino

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 16:20

Oh please, if she wouldve just had a sense of humor and sucked it up, this wouldnt be news, and now that pic is in full online circulation, it'll take years to forget about, but atleast its not a popular meme (yet...)



#3 compl3x

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 17:29

So she was put under and they pranked her? They should be sued and stripped of any right to practice medicine. You can't get any more unprofessional.



#4 siah1214

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 17:34


Oh please, if she wouldve just had a sense of humor and sucked it up, this wouldnt be news, and now that pic is in full online circulation, it'll take years to forget about, but atleast its not a popular meme (yet...)

Oh, we should just be ok with this level of unprofessionalism on the part of medical staff?  No, this should be reported, and these people punished.  The surgeon's table is not a playhouse. 



#5 +techbeck

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 17:35

Oh please, if she wouldve just had a sense of humor and sucked it up, this wouldnt be news, and now that pic is in full online circulation, it'll take years to forget about, but atleast its not a popular meme (yet...)

 

It is a betrayal of trust and a total lack of respect. 



#6 Lord Method Man

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 17:35

This is pretty shameful behavior.



#7 +warwagon

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 17:44

Man they suck, the fact she even found out!



#8 theyarecomingforyou

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 17:47

Let's be reasonable here. Was the prank done in poor taste? Absolutely. Does it warrant professional dismissal or a lawsuit? Of course not. This was not some random patient but somebody who worked at the hospital. The staff involved should be giving a warning and made to apologise but shouldn't face any further action unless there is evidence of further wrongdoing.

 

The lawsuit culture in the US is completely out of control and this is another example of that.



#9 SierraSonic

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 17:48

Though unprofessional, I hardly see this in anyway as harmful to her health. Still they should be punished and sued, but not at the level where they lose their jobs.



#10 Growled

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 17:49


The woman said that she learned of the prank when she returned to work after the October 2011 surgery and was approached by some coworkers who had seen the photos.

 

Omg, they did something that stupid and then posted photos of it. They should never be allowed to work in medicine again.



#11 adrynalyne

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 17:54

Let's be reasonable here. Was the prank done in poor taste? Absolutely. Does it warrant professional dismissal or a lawsuit? Of course not. This was not some random patient but somebody who worked at the hospital. The staff involved should be giving a warning and made to apologise but shouldn't face any further action unless there is evidence of further wrongdoing.

 

The lawsuit culture in the US is completely out of control and this is another example of that.

So if you work at a hospital, you are subject to pranks while unconscious and its suddenly ok and acceptable because you are an employee?  Were those prank items sterilized and suitable for an operation?

 

Did you read what you wrote before posting?

 

That is ludicrous.

 

That is like working at Fat Burger and an employee spits in your order.  Its ok, because you know...you work there.



#12 medhunter

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 17:56

Unbelievable.Should be sued for the loss of common sense if there is any charge for that



#13 adrynalyne

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 17:56

Omg, they did something that stupid and then posted photos of it. They should never be allowed to work in medicine again.

Prank was stupid in itself.

 

 

The real problem:

Goofing around in a hospital with a patient being prepped for surgery.



#14 compl3x

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 17:57

Let's be reasonable here. Was the prank done in poor taste? Absolutely. Does it warrant professional dismissal or a lawsuit? Of course not. This was not some random patient but somebody who worked at the hospital. The staff involved should be giving a warning and made to apologise but shouldn't face any further action unless there is evidence of further wrongdoing.

 

The lawsuit culture in the US is completely out of control and this is another example of that.

 

 

Come on, dude. You ask us to be reasonable when we are discussing medical professionals using an unconscious human being as a play thing? This is unacceptable and I can't imagine if you were the victim of it you'd have such a happy-go-lucky attitude about it.

 

Frankly this is an example of where suing seems entirely reasonable. Medical professionals are in a position of trust, that trust was entirely abused and treated with reckless abandon.



#15 adrynalyne

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 18:00

I have a feeling those that see no issue with this have never had surgery.