Eighty-one women are suing Sharp Grossmont Hospital in San Diego, California, after learning that they were secretly recorded by hidden cameras installed in the hospital’s gynecology operating rooms, according to a complaint filed in California Supreme Court last week.
From July 17, 2012, to June 30, 2013, roughly 1,800 women were recorded in the three operating rooms at the hospital’s women’s center, the complaint stated.
The motion-sensing cameras recorded video of births, emergency C-sections, miscarriages, hysterectomies, sterilizations, and a variety of other procedures. The videos depicted the women’s faces as they entered the hospital rooms for their operations, some were recorded undressing, and some were unconscious during the course of their procedures. None of the women were told they were being recorded.
“It’s such a shocking breach of patient privacy,” Allison Goddard, the attorney representing the women in the case, told BuzzFeed News. “I’ve talked to hundreds of women who were affected by it. The response is nearly universal: They just can’t believe it happened.“
The laptop cameras were installed on anesthesia carts in the operating rooms to address a drug theft issue at the hospital, Sharp Grossmont spokesperson John Cihomsky told BuzzFeed News. “The purpose of the three cameras was to ensure patient safety by determining the cause of drugs missing from the carts,” Cihomsky said.
Due to the pending litigation, Cihomsky declined to comment further on the case.