Elena Chernyakova has filed a lawsuit claiming invasion of privacy against her physician, insisting he took photos of her without consent following an alcohol binge and posted them to Facebook.
According to the lawsuit, the 23-year-old filed for invasion of privacy in addition to emotional distress for $1.5 million.
On June 13, Chernyakova was taken to the hospital at 3am after suffering from overconsumption of alcohol. She was admitted to the emergency room at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, where acquaintance Dr. Vinaya Puppala worked.
Chernyakova was unconscious for eight hours.
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About 15 minutes after regaining consciousness, Puppala visited Chernyakova’s hospital room and reportedly asked to view her medical files. Hours later, he returned to take pictures of her in the hospital bed, crying and attached to an IV.
Though security saw Puppala taking the pictures, he refused to delete them from his phone. Instead, he posted the photos to Instagram and Facebook, including detailed accounts of her condition.
Chernyakova, who graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in Communication Studies, Business and International Studies, said she may never be able to work for a Fortune 500 company because of the photos, despite her potential.
The Northwestern Memorial Hospital has separated itself from Puppala’s actions, noting that he acted “entirely on his own” and that the hospital did not support him.