ESPN obtained — and published — a medical record regarding the amputation of Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul’s right index finger. Per a source with knowledge of the situation, it’s likely that legal action will be taken against the person who leaked the document to ESPN.


The investigation will begin with the hospital that generated the records. While some have cited HIPAA as the basis for a lawsuit against the hospital, HIPAA does not permit a private legal action for the violation of its terms. Instead, any claims against the hospital would be made under Florida privacy laws. Over the years, large verdicts have been awarded against health-care providers that released private patient information.

Pierre-Paul is expected to file a lawsuit against Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami for leaking his medical chart to ESPN, the source said. The network posted Pierre-Paul’s medical chart on the Internet. The release of such information without the patient’s approval is a violation of federal law.

As for the amputation of his index finger, the decision to remove it was based on the fact that it will allow Pierre-Paul to return earlier, the source said.

“He was told that he could repair the finger, but it was probably going to take multiple procedures and even after all of that, the finger was probably going to be disfigured and not very functional, if at all,” the source said. “Look, it’s not easy to say, ‘OK, cut it off.’ But for what he’s trying to do, play football, it makes sense.”

Both doctors agreed with the cost-benefit analysis decision of amputating the finger over trying to repair it. In addition, both said losing the finger wouldn’t keep him from playing effectively.

ESPN itself did nothing wrong legal wise by receiving and sharing the info, other than maybe showing a lack of morals for someone else’s well being, so they are in the clear as far as lawsuits go. Expect the lawsuit to be very significant in the dollar amount.