A Chicago woman who claims her plastic surgeon posted before and after pictures of her “cocaine nose” online without her consent filed a lawsuit Tuesday.
According to the lawsuit, Dr. Robert Walton violated a patient’s privacy by taking photos of Sabrina Kropp’s facial reconstruction in 2004 and publishing them on his Plastic Surgery Chicago website, the Chicago Tribune reports.
The 55-woman is seeking compensation for “suffering great harm” because photos of her operation were published on his practice’s website, doctorwalton.com, instead of being securely maintained in her medical record.
While the photos have since been deleted from the website, cached archives show her nose with collapsed cartilage from alleged chronic cocaine use.
The New York Daily News notes that the photos were posted to the website in 2011, showing what Kropp says is her nose post-surgery. The website kept her identity a secret by covering the woman’s eyes with black bars.
Kropp says Walton and his practice violated her confidentiality and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which requires a patient’s written permission for releasing medical records, the Tribune reports.
The lawsuit also names the University of Chicago Medical Center (UCMC) as a defendant because that’s where Walton worked when Kropp was his patient. The company that designed his website was included in the list of defendants.
A UCMC spokeswoman told CNET.com: "The physician named in the lawsuit left the University of Chicago Medical Center in 2007. It is important to note the University of Chicago Medical Center is committed to protecting patient privacy and has a robust series of policies and procedures in place to do just that. The institution does not comment on pending litigation."