81 Women Sue California Hospital for Filming Gynecology Operations Without Consent


A San Diego hospital faces lawsuits renewed last week from 81 women who claim they were filmed during gynecology operations without their consent.

BuzzFeed News reports that between July 17, 2012, and June 30, 2013, roughly 1,800 women were filmed without their consent while undergoing procedures at Sharp Grossmont Hospital.

Laptop cameras installed on anesthesia carts recorded a large variety of procedures, from births and cesarean-sections to miscarriages.

Women were filmed undressing, entering the room, and while they were unconscious.

According to Sharp Grossmont spokesman John Cihomsky, the cameras were in place to monitor a drug theft problem at the hospital.

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“The purpose of the three cameras was to ensure patient safety by determining the cause of drugs missing from the carts,” Cihomsky told BuzzFeed.

Cihomsky declined to comment further on the case because of the pending litigation, BuzzFeed reported.

Here is the KGTV report on the lawsuit.

Some of the laptops were not protected by passwords and no record was kept of who accessed the computers and videos.

Allison Goddard, the attorney of representing the 81 women suing, told BuzzFeed News that the hospital’s actions were “a shocking breach of patient privacy.”

“I’ve talked to hundreds of women who were affected by it,” Goddard told BuzzFeed News.

“The response is nearly universal: they just can’t believe it happened.”

Goddard told BuzzFeed that the procedures were usually filmed from behind the woman’s head, an angle at which their stomachs and thighs were occasionally visible.

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The videos occasionally depicted surgeries.

A lawsuit was initially filed against the hospital in 2016 but was denied class certification.

All 81 women have refiled last week, and other women who might have been recorded by the hospital are expected to join, Goddard told BuzzFeed.

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