A Pennsylvania hospital is facing a lawsuit over alleged nude photos taken of a woman — a former employee — while she was on the operating table, the Tribune-Review reported.
Sheila Harosky, 45, says the alleged photos represent an invasion of privacy and medical malpractice. Washington Hospital, its chief executive, and the doctor who performed the surgery are named in the lawsuit filed Dec. 12.
Harosky told the Tribune-Review she first learned about the photos after returning to work from a hernia surgery. At the time, she was working as an operating room secretary at the hospital. A colleague allegedly had the nude photos on her phone. She reportedly showed them to Haroksy, saying: “I’ve got something for your scrapbook. It's a little explicit.”
Harosky was then shown an image of herself naked from the ankles up, while she was under anesthesia.
“I couldn't believe what I was looking at,” Harosky said in the Tribune-Review report. “I looked up and said, ‘What the hell is the matter with you?' And she thought it was funny.”
But the hospital claims she participated in events leading up to the photos. As a practical joke, Harosky had asked co-workers to place fake intestines on her abdomen. However, Harosky never authorized the pictures, according to reports.
How did the hospital respond?
“Washington Health System disputes the version of events that has been published and intends to defend the claim,” the organization said in a statement.
According to reports, the hospital fired the nurse and the doctor is no longer performing surgeries. Still, Harosky was ridiculed by co-workers over the pictures, reports state. She is on three-month paid leave of absence.
“I loved my job,” Harosky told the Tribune-Review. “I worked all those years to get a nice-paying job with benefits and retirement and — because I had surgery there — it's all gone. All because of what was done to me while I was asleep, under anesthesia.”
She was a 16-year employee of Washington Hospital.
Why was her identity revealed?
The lawsuit had initially named Harosky as "Jane Doe" to protect her identity. Opposing attorneys objected, and her name was added to he lawsuit. After that, Harosky and her attorney decided to go public with their allegations.
Haroksy's attorney said she has been treated like the villain.
“It's traumatized her,” Ken Hardin, the Pittsburgh attorney representing Harosky told the Tribune-Review. “She was treated as a wrongdoer rather than victim.”