A former Northwestern University student claims that after she was admitted to an Illinois hospital for extreme intoxication, a doctor there took photos of her and posted them to social media sites with commentary about her condition.
Elena Chernyakova filed suit in the Cook County Circuit Court against Dr. Vinaya Puppala, the Feinberg School of Medicine and the Northwestern Memorial Hospital on Aug. 15, claiming invasion of privacy and infliction of emotional distress. Puppala is a fellow in the Multidisciplinary Pain Medicine Fellowship at Feinberg, which works in conjunction with Northwestern Memorial Hospital, according to court documents.
Chernyakova has the "potential to someday work for Fortune 500 companies, which may now not occur because of said photographs," according to the complaint. Court documents show that she is seeking compensation of over $1.5 million.
The incident allegedly took place this past June, when Chernyakova was transported to the emergency room at Northwestern Memorial Hospital for overconsumption of alcohol, according to the complaint. She was allegedly unconscious for eight hours.
Approximately 15 minutes after she had regained consciousness, Puppala, who was on duty at the time and knew Chernyakova through a mutual friend, visited her hospital room, according to the complaint.
He allegedly asked to view her medical records, and returned several hours later to take photographs of her "while she was on the hospital bed, crying and attached to an IV," according to the complaint. He then posted these photographs on Instagram and Facebook, accompanied by "attached statements of commentary" about Chernyakova's condition, according to the complaint.