A Port Authority employee filed a lawsuit alleging that she was secretly videotaped during a medical exam. The employee, Charlene Talarico, said the incident happened during an exam in August 2016. Talarico is suing for unspecified damages, according to the lawsuit filed in a Manhattan federal court last week. Alleging emotional distress, pain and suffering, and other unspecified damages, Talarico is also asking the court to certify a class action on behalf of approximately 8,000 employees whose medical exams may also have been secretly recorded. According to the lawsuit, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey covertly records employees receiving medical care at all of its facilities.
Talarico, a senior administrative secretary, claims she was recorded without her permission while having her hand examined at the Port Authority’s medical office on Park Avenue. While Talarico remained clothed for the entire exam period, the examination area had the same “privacy curtain” typically used in hospitals and doctor offices. Therefore, it is likely the video cameras set up in the examination areas also caught other patients while they were undressed. If Talarico’s allegations are true, the covert video recording would be a violation of the United States and New York constitutions – specifically, the federal healthcare privacy laws and freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, according to the lawsuit.
According to the New York Post, she only learned about the video footage because it surfaced during the discovery phase of another lawsuit in early 2017. In that lawsuit, Talarico sued the senior employee who injured her hand in Weehawken, New Jersey. During discovery, Talarico allegedly “viewed one of the videos, which reflected her entire medical exam…” According to her lawsuit, “This camera was a fixture in this examination room, where Ms. Talarico and other Port Authority employees received confidential medical care.” Pascale Kerlegrande, the doctor who examined Talarico, is also named in the lawsuit.
Talarico’s lawsuit also asks the court to certify a class-action lawsuit against the Port Authority. According to her, “On information and belief, the Port Authority filmed – and may still be filming – other employee’s medical exams without their knowledge or consent.”
Dr. Kerlegrande and the Port Authority declined to comment on the lawsuit’s allegations.