Jason Pierre-Paul’s lawsuit against Adam Schefter, ESPN will proceed
Nearly six months after New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul filed an invasion-of-privacy lawsuit against ESPN and reporter Adam Schefter, a Miami federal judge has ruled the case can proceed.
“The court correctly ruled that Jason properly stated an invasion-of-privacy claim against ESPN and Adam Schefter, who we allege improperly published Jason’s medical records. Today’s ruling is a recognition of Jason’s right, as a professional athlete, to oppose the publication of his medical records without his consent,” JPP’s attorney, Mitchell Schuster of Meister Seelig & Fein, told the New York Post.
Although Schefter and ESPN did not technically violate HIPAA laws with their July 2015 release of Pierre-Paul’s medical charts, the former Pro Bowl defensive end says the documents were “improperly obtained” and their release was not “a matter of legitimate public concern.”
ESPN obtained medical charts that show Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul had right index finger amputated today. pic.twitter.com/VI5cbS1uCw
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 8, 2015
Schefter explained his decision to tweet the medical chart last year (read his comments here).
Previously, Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Fla. had settled a lawsuit believed to be brought against them by Pierre-Paul, although that has not been confirmed. The hospital also terminated two of its employees who were the source of the leak.
Schefter’s decision to post Pierre-Paul’s medical and surgical charts, which came only days after the Giants defender suffered the loss of his right index finger and the portion of two others during a July 4th fireworks accident, was met with immediate scrutiny. However, both he and ESPN have repeatedly defended their decision to share the documents publicly, claiming it was protected under their First Amendment rights.
Citing that same argument, lawyers representing Schefter and ESPN sought to have the case thrown out, but their request was denied.
Pierre-Paul is suing for an unspecified damages, and the case could ultimately cost ESPN millions.