New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul is suing ESPN and reporter Adam Schefter for tweeting a photo of his medical records as proof the two-time Pro Bowler had a finger amputated last summer.
According to a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Miami-Dade County in Florida, the tweet violated Pierre-Paul's privacy as well as Florida statute 456.057, which prohibits the sharing or discussing of a patient's medical records with anyone not involved in the care of that patient.
The lawsuit states, while Pierre-Paul's amputation “may have been of legitimate public concern, the chart itself was not.”
Schefter, who has 4.5 million Twitter followers, sent out the tweet concerning Pierre-Paul's right index finger on July 8. It has been retweeted more than 7,600 times.
“This action arises out of ESPN reporter Schefter's blatant disregard for the private and confidential nature of Plaintiff's medical records,” the lawsuit states, “all so Schefter could show the world that he had 'supporting proof' of a surgical procedure.
“Schefter improperly obtained Plaintiff’s medical records from a hospital and then, out of a selfish desire to ‘break news,’ electronically blasted the records to his approximately 4 million Twitter followers and made it available to anyone worldwide with Internet access.”
Schefter later addressed the situation during an interview with Sports Illustrated, parts of which are mentioned in the lawsuit.
"In a day and age in which pictures and videos tell stories and confirm facts, in which sources and their motives are routinely questioned, and in which reporters strive to be as accurate as possible, this was the ultimate supporting proof," Schefter said.
But he added: "In hindsight I could and should have done even more here due to the sensitivity of the situation. We’ve got a great group of editors and production staff, and I could have leaned on them even more. ... On this one, there should have been even more discussion than there was due to the sensitivity of the story; that’s on me."