Woman Sues Hospital After Photos of Her Suicide Attempt Go Viral

A woman filed a lawsuit against Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center after a nurse posted photos of her injuries online.

The unidentified plaintiff was treated at the hospital after she tried to gouge her own eyes out with a pencil in a suicide attempt, which left her blind. According to the woman’s lawyer, Douglas Johnson, a nurse (who has not been identified yet) photographed the woman with the pencils still sticking out of her eyes. The nurse shared the picture with someone else, who then gave the image to a man named Joshua Shivers, according to Reuters.

Shivers, in turn, used his mother’s computer to post the image to a “shock” website, the suit stated, adding that the photo has since been viewed more than 192,000 times. The specific website to which it was posted was not disclosed.
Douglas said that before filing the lawsuit against the medical center and Los Angeles County officials who administer the hospital, he asked them to have the picture taken down from the Web by exercising a copyright they hold over photo, since it was taken in their facility.

“Everybody knows that as soon as someone gets their hands on something like this, it goes viral and the harm is done,” said Douglas.

Both Shivers and his mother are named as defendants in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit states the woman who blinded herself has since undergone psychiatric treatment and learned Braille but has suffered severe depression since the photo went viral.

According to KSBW, the suit was filed by the woman’s guardian and seeks damages for unauthorized disclosure of medical information.

Image via Shutterstock.

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