SAN DIEGO — Nearly 200 women have already come forward saying they were filmed during sensitive procedures at Sharp Grossmont Hospital women’s center between 2012 and 2013, and now two women are sharing their personal accounts about that invasion of privacy.
April Lockhart calls her emergency C-section a "very private, vulnerable moment of life."
Lockhart checked into Sharp Grossmont Hospital in October 2012 to give birth. It was her third child born at the hospital, but this time her emergency procedure was recorded, according to a lawsuit filed in March.
That lawsuit claims nearly 2,000 female patients were secretly recorded in all three operating rooms in the hospital’s women’s center during sensitive medical procedures between July 2012 and June 2013.
"There were lots of complications, and I was actually strapped down to the table shaking, vomiting, and I just can’t believe that’s for anybody and everybody to see," Lockhart said.
Sharp has apologized, saying the cameras were installed to combat the recurring theft of equipment and the anesthetic propofol.
Allison Worden, an attorney representing the female patients, said that is simply not enough.
"The fear of these women is that they might wake up in the morning and they might see themselves, their video, of their very intimate procedure, across the World Wide Web. Sharp has provided no assurances to date to these women stating that that will not happen," Worden said.
Worden said this case is far from over. The phones at Gomez Trial Attorneys are ringing daily with more women coming forward, believing they too were filmed at the hospital during that time period.
"They were more focused on what was in that cart, their items, than my safety or well-being," said Jennifer Ellis, another woman who had a procedure during the time specified in the suit.
Ellis had benign tumors removed in March 2013. She and Lockhart now join hundreds of other women aiming to hold the hospital accountable.
"If Sharp gets away with this and nothing happens, then what’s going to stop other hospitals from doing the same thing?" Ellis asked.
So far, nearly 200 women have filed lawsuits, and lawyers say they expect to file a fourth complaint next week with another 50 women. In all, it is believed 1,800 women were recorded.