The Miami hospital where New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul was treated following a fireworks accident, which ultimately cost him one of his fingers, has launched an investigation into the leak of his medical records to ESPN.
"Late Wednesday, media reports surfaced purportedly showing a Jackson Memorial Hospital patient's protected health information, suggesting it was leaked by an employee. An aggressive internal investigation looking into these allegations is underway," Carlos A. Migoya, president and CEO of the hospital, told CNN.
"If we confirm Jackson employees or physicians violated a patient's legal right to privacy, they will be held accountable, up to and including possible termination," Migoya said.
ESPN defended its decision to publish a photograph on Wednesday containing Pierre-Paul's medical information, saying "HIPAA does not apply to news organizations."
If the information is found to originate from a hospital employee, Jackson Memorial could be subject to a lawsuit for violating the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which is supposed to protect the privacy of an individual's medical records.
Pierre-Paul, 26, had his right index finger amputated Wednesday following a fireworks accident on the Fourth of July. He also suffered a broken thumb, among other injuries to his hands.
He had been seeking a contract extension from the Giants, who originally offered him a $60-million deal, which was withdrawn following news of his injury.
Pierre-Paul, who is expected to play in 2015 despite his injuries, now faces the prospect of playing under his franchise tender of $14.8 million before becoming a free agent in 2016 if he and New York cannot come to terms on a new contract by July 15.
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