A woman is pressing charges that her Chicago plastic and cosmetic surgery surgeon has posted before and after images of her facial reconstruction surgery on his medical website without consent, and labeling them “Cocaine Nose.”
When Sabrina Kropp had photographs taken of her face a decade ago, her surgeon, Dr. Robert Walton gave the impression that the images would remain secure and confidential in her medical record. However, when Dr. Robert Walton opened a new practice Plastic Surgery Chicago LLC in 2013, he subsequently electronically uploaded images of Kropp’s face, at least according to the lawsuit filed by the Cook County Circuit Court.
Compounding matters is the issue that the photographs in question, according to the same Cook County Circuit Court lawsuit, have been displayed and labeled as “cocaine nose”. Dr. Walton lists “cocaine nose” on his website has one of the nasal reconstruction surgeries he performs. The website describes the process as “perforations of the septum, infection, loss of supporting cartilage, scarring and eventual collapse of the nose”, all symptoms occurring with chronic cocaine use.
Kropp does not stop her allegations there. She is also suing Walton and Plastic Surgery Chicago LLC for breach of fiduciary duty of confidentiality and violating the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which is better know known as HIPAA. According to a report made by the Chicago Tribune: “The law requires an individual’s written authorization before a use or disclosure of her protected health information is used for publication, marketing, teaching and/or commercial purposes, according to the lawsuit.”
Tribune reporter Michelle Manchir also states “In addition to Walton and his plastic surgery practice, the University of Chicago Medical Center is named as a defendant. According to the lawsuit, Walton was employed there when Kropp was his patient. Plaintiffs also include the California company that designed and developed Walton’s plastic surgery business website.”
Kropp is seeking compensation for damages. On account of the photos being released, Kropp has “suffered great harm.” In her lawsuit statement she states her disbelief, claiming that Walton should have realized the impact of publishing the photos, which would cause her to “to become distressed, shamed and embarrassed.”
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