A woman is suing Los Angeles County after an image of her shocking suicide attempt went viral online.
The woman, identified only as Jane Doe, claims that the photo was taken without her permission. The suit was filed on Monday by the woman’s guardian, David Bliss.
The woman in question attempted to kill herself by jabbing pencils in her eyes. Although she survived the suicide attempt, she lost her vision.
The Huffington Post reports that the woman was treated at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center in 2012 after attempting suicide at another facility.
According to the lawsuit, someone, believed to be a nurse, took an unauthorized photo of her with yellow pencils sticking out of her eyes. That person shared the photo with someone else, who in turn sent in to Joshua Shivers.
Shivers then allegedly used his mother Linda’s computer to post the image to a “shock” website, although it has not been disclosed to which specific website it was posted. On the day the photo was posted online, Shivers allegedly bragged about it, writing, “I finally made it in life. Please check out my shiz.”
Mail Online reports that the photo has been viewed more than 192,000 times.
The woman is now claiming unauthorized disclosure of medical information, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, breach of duty and public disclosure of private facts.
The plaintiff’s attorney, Douglas Johnson, said that before filing the lawsuit against the medical center and Los Angeles County officials who administer the hospital, he asked them to remove the picture from the Internet. The lawsuit also names Joshua Shivers and his mother, Linda, as defendants.
According to the lawsuit, the woman who blinded herself has since received psychiatric help, has learned to read Braille, and has “gotten her life back on track” by enrolling in college.
However, since the photo spread online, she has allegedly fallen into depression.
The legal action does not specify how much the woman is seeking in damages.