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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Patient Sues after Anesthesiologist Puts Moustache, Tear Stickers on Her Face During Surgery

Posted by on Sep. 8, 2013 at 8:39 AM
  • 65 Replies


Patient Sues after Anesthesiologist Puts Moustache, Tear Stickers on Her Face During Surgery

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When Veronica Valdez went in for finger surgery at Torrance Memorial Medical Center in October 2011, she probably never expected to be the butt of a practical joke as she lay unconscious.

But near the end of the procedure, Dr. Patrick Yang placed stickers on Valdez’s face to give her tattoo-style teardrops and a black moustache, emulating the appearance of a male gang member.  Once the stickers were in place, nurse’s aid Patricia Gomez took a picture of the work with her mobile phone.

Valdez is now suing over the incident. Although Gomez claims to have deleted the photo promptly after the incident, the image was posted on Facebook, obtained by the NY Daily News, and is serving as evidence in the lawsuit.

Valdez herself had worked at the hospital for 13 years managing medical supplies, and was on a friendly basis with the surgery-room staff. Dr. Yang reported that rather that feeling insulted, he believed at the time that Valdez would think the joke was amusing.

“I thought she would think this is funny and she would appreciate it, “ said Dr. Yang.

On the contrary, Valdez said in court documents obtained by The Daily Mail that she felt “violated. I was in shock.”

According to Valdez’s attorney, Andrew Ryan, the plaintiff was “ridiculed and humiliated while under anesthesia.” He claims that she quit her job out of embarrassment after the incident.

Valdez has filed a civil lawsuit set for trial in January 2014. She is claiming violation of privacy and emotional distress, and seeking compensation from the hospital and the anesthesiologist, as well as his medical group.

The hospital does not allow cell phones in patient areas, per a rule set in 2009 following a 2009 incident.

Said nursing manager Arthur Ano, "There was an incident, some years [ago], I walked in an operating room and the sales rep was taking a picture of a naked patient and I seized the phone. We discovered more pictures of the patient on his cell phone."

Yang and Gomez both faced disciplinary action by the hospital, but were not fired.

by on Sep. 8, 2013 at 8:39 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Woodbabe
by Woodie on Sep. 8, 2013 at 8:48 AM
2 moms liked this

Emotional distress to the point of quitting her job? Egads...grow a pair! That being said, she had every right to be pissed off, especially since it was posted on FB instead of being messaged to HER privately beforehand to ask her permission.

billsfan1104
by Jules on Sep. 8, 2013 at 8:51 AM
1 mom liked this
Usually, I would say put big girl panties on, but this is wrong on so many levels. By posting it on FB, they violated HIPPA right?
heresjohnny
by Bronze Member on Sep. 8, 2013 at 8:56 AM
4 moms liked this
WTF?!?! I hope she gets everything she sues for, and more. I'm not normally one to jump on the lawsuit bandwagon, but this is 10 levels of wrong on the DR's part.
UpSheRises
by Platinum Member on Sep. 8, 2013 at 9:07 AM
4 moms liked this
I dont think its that big of a deal. It shouldnt have gone on the web but I dont think the act itself if heinous enough to cause someone so much emotional stress that they cant work.
.Bad.Wolf.
by Member on Sep. 8, 2013 at 9:08 AM

It's messed up that they did it....but I DID laugh lmao.

dawnie1
by #1 Raider fan on Sep. 8, 2013 at 9:23 AM

Yeah, I think they blew it at the f/b posting. No real defense there.

candlegal
by Judy on Sep. 8, 2013 at 9:25 AM
1 mom liked this

oh brother

AdrianneHill
by Platinum Member on Sep. 8, 2013 at 9:29 AM
if they hadn't put it on Facebook, I'd tell her to grow a pair. they list the ability to call it a harmless joke when they put it online without her permission
Bethsunshine
by on Sep. 8, 2013 at 9:31 AM

Putting the picture on  Facebook violates HIPPAA laws. If it weren't for that, I'd say it's not that big of a deal but that was over the line there.

lyranightshade
by Bronze Member on Sep. 8, 2013 at 9:33 AM
1 mom liked this
It's unethical to do that, disgusting that they would post it on fb and shr does deserve compensation for all the violations.
Uunofficially- that's fucking hilarious.
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