81 Women Sue Hospital that Installed Cameras in Delivery Rooms.

81+Women+Sue+Hospital+that+Installed+Cameras+in+Delivery+Rooms.

Jordan Esposito

81 women are filing a class action lawsuit against Sharp Grossmont Hospital, near San Diego, over allegations that the hospital installed cameras in three delivery rooms at the Women’s Center. These cameras were used to record over 1,800 women without their consent. The cameras were in use for over 11 months, beginning in the summer of 2012. The women are claiming that the cameras violated their privacy when they were, “emotionally and physically exposed, and at their most vulnerable.”

Sharp Grossmont Hospital’s non-profit parent company, Sharp HealthCare, acknowledged the allegations stating that the motion-activated cameras were installed around May 2012 to catch thieves who were stealing powerful anesthetics from drug carts.

Sharp HealthCare stated, “Although the cameras were intended to record only individuals in front of the anesthesia carts removing drugs, others, including patients and medical personnel in the operating rooms, were at times visible to the cameras and recorded.” The company also mentioned that “[the cameras’ images] were used for this particular case only and have not been used again.”

The recordings from the cameras were, according to the lawsuit, stored on desktop computers in which some did not need passwords. The lawsuit also says, “[the hospital] destroyed at least half the recordings but cannot say when or how it deleted those files and cannot confirm that it took the appropriate steps to ensure the files were not otherwise recoverable.”

Allison Goddard, the lawyer representing the 81 women who are suing the hospital, said that she had obtained 5 videos from the hospital and had requested an additional 100. Goddard says that she saw a video of a woman being wheeled into an operating room and prepped for a C-section. Goddard continued to say that the video showed the birth of the child and a nurse assisting the woman with other personal medical needs.

When asked about her thoughts on the issue, Lakewood High School junior, Alexandria Solomon, said, “The original purpose of the cameras, to catch someone stealing anesthesia, is understandable. However, the blatant misuse and disrespect of the women being filmed is humiliating and disgusting, even more so because a hospital is supposed to be a safe place based on confidentiality and privacy.”