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Adam Schefter Is Being Sued for Publicly Disclosing Jason Pierre-Paul’s Medical Records

You could see this coming from a mile away. Jason Pierre-Paul from the New York Giants is suing ESPN and Adam Schefter for posting his private medical records online. Pierre-Paul suffered a hand injury that mangled his fingers in a fireworks accident in July of last year.

The suit alleges Schefter improperly obtained Pierre-Paul’s medical chart and violated his privacy by then tweeting it out to his followers. Here’s Schefter’s tweet that immediately sparked backlash for what seems to me as crossing the line of legitimate journalism.

Here’s more of what the lawsuit alleges according to Deadspin:

“The suit alleges that Schefter violated Florida statute § 456.057, which basically says that a patient’s medical records cannot be given to or discussed with anybody not involved in their care. Most of the facts in the lawsuit are related to the culpability of the hospital, with just one paragraph alleging Schefter’s fault:

Because the Hospital disclosed the Chart to Schefter, he was prohibited from further disclosing it or any information therein without the expressed written consent of Plaintiff or Plaintiff’s legal representative, which consent was never sought or obtained.

The lawsuit also alleges that the tweet was a violation of Pierre-Paul’s privacy: “The publication of the Chart was highly offensive to a reasonable person of ordinary sensibilities […] The Chart, as distinguished from the amputation of Plaintiff’s right index finger, was not a matter of legitimate public concern.”

Despite it appearing to the naked eye that it’s a sure lawsuit that Pierre-Paul will win, Michael McCann of McCann Sports Law and Legal Analyst at Sports Illustrated says that it’s a tough case for Pierre-Paul to win.

Back in July, Schefter explained why he decided to share the charts online in a series of emails with Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated:

This was a public figure and franchise player involved in a widely speculated accident with potential criminal behavior in which there was a cone of secrecy that surrounded him for five days that not even his own team could crack. This wasn’t as if some player were admitted to the hospital with a secret illness or disease—we’ve seen those cases over the years, as recently as this past year even. This one was different and unique for a variety of reasons. The extent of his injuries were going to come to light, maybe that day or later that week, but soon. They’re horrific injuries, incredibly unfortunate for the player. But in 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 has always been one to get the great scoops involving the NFL.  ESPN has always held Schefter in high regard and he’s widely respected in the industry. The call to post the records online is a scumbag move, in my opinion. He had other options and he chose to make a TMZ-like decision. If he wants to be a respected journalist, he should’ve punted on the online post. Pierre-Paul may not win the lawsuit, but I haven’t come across many people that don’t think that Schefter’s actions here don’t taint his reputation.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Lino Bompensero

    February 25, 2016 at 9:54 AM

    Good. Was piece of shit thing to do. Then tried to back off of it.

  2. Once Did Coke with the 1-2-3 Kid in Vegas

    February 25, 2016 at 11:44 AM

    Fuck jpp

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