Let’s talk colonoscopies: they make you drink a gallon or more of that cleansing solution until your colon is as clean as stainless steel, you can’t eat solid food but you can have clear broth or non-colored Jell-O (whoop). They say you may experience some “discomfort” (translation: “torment”) while preparing. Mercifully, when you arrive for the procedure they’ll give you “good” drugs that send you to Pluto and back during the colonoscopy.
One medical group went even further: Andrew Walls from Dover, Delaware, who worked at the Delaware Surgery Center, had a colonoscopy there in October 2012. When he awoke from anesthesia, he was wearing pink panties. His complaint states, “When the plaintiff initially presented for his colonoscopy he had not been wearing pink women’s underwear and at no time did the plaintiff voluntarily, knowingly or intentionally place the pink women’s underwear upon himself.” There are no allegations that something harmful or disgusting was on or in the pink underwear.
The offending act was evidently accomplished by an unidentified co-worker who made Mr. Walls the butt of the joke (get it?). Andrew was not entertained. On October 10, 2014, 2 days before the statute of limitations ran, he filed suit in New Castle County Superior Court against Delaware Surgery Center and Eden Hill Surgical Group of Dover for intentional infliction of severe emotional distress. According to the complaint, waking up in pink panties caused him such distress that he suffered mental anguish, lost wages and lost earning capacity, for which he should be compensated.
Reactions to the civil suit, which swiftly “went viral,” range from derision to puzzlement to sympathy. Some deem the suit a joke or a hoax: maybe it was done for Breast Cancer Awareness; that was an insult to women and not to Mr. Walls; colonoscopy patients should “suck it up” and skip sedation anyway, etc. Others are puzzled by the defendants’ failure to settle the matter and obtain a confidentiality agreement during the 2-year gap between the incident and the suit. Still others believe Mr. Walls has every right to sue and win: employees of the Center, whether paid or unpaid, are all required to abide by the health privacy act and behave professionally at all times; somebody took advantage of a sedated patient who could not defend himself and he does not know what else happened to him while sedated; that incident could be distressing enough to cause a person to lose a job and earning capacity, at least for a time.
The suit is still in its infancy and unless settled by insurance to avoid the costs of trial, its stages may continue to go viral for all to see. I’ll keep you posted. You’re welcome.
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