TV legal analyst Amy Dardashtian dropped by CBS Sports Radio on Thursday to discuss the latest legal goings on of Jason Pierre-Paul, Erin Andrews and Peyton Manning.
Pierre-Paul, in case you missed it, is suing ESPN and Adam Schefter for posting his private medical records online. The 27-year-old defensive lineman had his right index finger amputated following an accident involving fireworks on July 4, 2015.
Schefter likely could have gotten away with the report had he simply prefaced it with the tried and true “according to sources” bit. Instead, he took a photo of Pierre-Paul’s records and made it public.
That may have been a few steps too far.
“No doubt that is newsworthy,” Dardashtian said on Ferrall on the Bench. “Like you said, there is limited privacy for public figures. Especially if you’re a football player and you’re about to lose one of your fingers, it’s definitely newsworthy because that could potentially impact your performance in the game and so that was out there. Even JPP’s lawyers in their legal complaint said, ‘Listen, we do not deny that it was newsworthy that he was having a finger amputated. We take issue with the fact that he took a picture of JPP’s private medical chart and put it out there for four million people to see. That’s where he went wrong.’”
Scott Ferrall feels that all patients have a right to privacy, whether it pertains to medical records, blood work, drug-test results or anything else. If not, the trust between doctor and patient is broken.
“Absolutely,” Dardashtian said, “but you know what? Not all states recognize that. In New York, there is a very limited right to privacy. JPP actually is filing his lawsuit in Florida. Florida recognizes more privacy for celebrities. So you have a lot of legal experts out there saying this is going to be a really difficult case for him to win. I don’t think so. In Florida, there is something called publication of private facts. It kind of takes the invasion of privacy claim a step further. There have been cases where they recognize that, listen, celebrities have a limited right to privacy, but they don’t have no zone of privacy. The two categories that really stand out in these cases in Florida is sex – that you can’t record somebody having sex who’s a celebrity and put it out there – and medical records.”