What happens when a nurse breaches patient confidentiality? – Alabama Nursing Board Defense Lawyer – Call Today! – (866) 348-2889
In previous blogs I explored how an employer can be sued due to a nurse’s negligence or misconduct under the doctrine of respondeat superior, which holds the employer liable for an employee’s or agent’s wrongdoing committed within the scope of employment.
In the following case, a New York court showed why this doctrine is not always applicable.
In 2010, “John Doe” was being treated for a sexually transmitted disease at a private medical facility in New York. A nurse at the facility recognized Doe as the boyfriend of her sister-in-law. The nurse, not assigned to Doe’s care, checked Doe’s chart and learned of his diagnosis and treatment.
While Doe was waiting for his treatment, the nurse texted her sister-in-law and told her Doe was being treated for the STD. The manner in which she texted this information led the sister-in-law to believe the staff was making fun of his diagnosis and treatment. The sister-in-law immediately forwarded the messages to Doe.