Earlier this month, Dr. Eric Haufrect sued Houston Methodist Hospital alleging the hospital recorded conversations between patients and nurses without their knowledge or consent. The lawsuit alleges this was Methodist’s policy possibly for as long as eight years. Additionally, Dr. Haufrect alleges retaliation from the hospital for speaking out against the recordings.
The allegations against Methodist may implicate state and federal privacy laws. Recording a conversation without knowledge or consent of either party is an invasion of privacy and a violation of wiretapping laws. This lawsuit specifically claims a violation of the Texas Occupational Code. Under the code, the confidential communications between patients and healthcare providers are protected. With respect to the retaliation claim, the Texas Health and Safety Code protects employees who report a violation from being disciplined by the hospital for reporting.
The lawsuit states that Dr. Haufrect brought the discovery of possible recordings to the hospital administrator’s attention, but was told “the recordings were legal, that he had ‘no true privacy’ at the office.” The statement from the hospital’s chief executive, Marc Bloom, said the allegations were investigated and “appropriate actions were taken.” According to the lawsuit, however, Methodist removed Dr. Haufrect as vice chairmen of the obstetrics and gynecology department two months after the report was filed and initiated a “whisper campaign” that targeted Dr. Haufrect to discredit his professional reputation.
Privacy laws and employer retaliation can be intimidating and discouraging for many affected individuals. If you or someone you know has been affected by a violation of privacy or employer retaliation, it is important to find a skilled law firm with experience handling these cases. The law firm of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner is the oldest personal injury firm in Texas, and our attorneys are standing by to assist with your claim. Call us today at 713-396-3964 or 800-594-4884 for your free consultation.