NFL player who lost finger to fireworks sues ESPN reporter

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 25, 2016 4:38 PM

By Joseph Ax

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York Giants football player Jason Pierre-Paul, who lost a finger in a fireworks accident last year, has sued an ESPN reporter for posting a copy of his medical records on Twitter.

The lawsuit, filed in state court in Miami on Wednesday, accuses Adam Schefter of "blatant disregard for the private and confidential nature" of Pierre-Paul's records when he tweeted an image of hospital records to his nearly 4 million followers on July 8, 2015. The document confirmed Pierre-Paul had his right index finger amputated.

Once a rising star in the National Football League, the 27-year-old defensive end was forced to miss several games in 2015 following the July 4 accident. He had to wear a protective cast on his hand during the season.

Miami's Jackson Memorial Hospital, which treated Pierre-Paul for his injuries, said earlier this month that two employees were fired after they "inappropriately accessed the patient's health record."

Pierre-Paul previously reached an out-of-court settlement with the hospital over the leak.

The lawsuit, which also names ESPN, part of Walt Disney Co, as a defendant, asserts that Schefter violated Pierre-Paul's privacy by posting a copy of his medical records rather than simply reporting the news.

"While the amputation may have been of legitimate public concern, the chart itself was not," the lawsuit said.

It also argues Schefter had a duty under Florida law not to disseminate confidential medical records that were disclosed to him by hospital employees.

An ESPN spokesman declined to comment.

(Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Andrew Hay)