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article imageWoman sues doctor over 'cocaine nose' pictures

By Mike White     Jul 30, 2014 in Odd News
Chicago - Calling published pictures of her nose before and after reconstructive surgery, photos of a "cocaine nose," a woman has sued her Chicago plastic surgeon. She claims the doctor did not have permission to publish the photos.
The Chicago Tribune reported Sabrina Kropp claims it was understood when Dr. Robert Walton took the photographs of her face in 2004 the pictures would stay in her medical record. The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Cook County Circuit Court.
The lawsuit also claims when Dr. Walton opened a new practice, Plastic Surgery Chicago LLC in 2013, pictures of her were published on his practice’s website.
The lawsuit also claimed the pictures were displayed and labeled as “cocaine nose."
Doctor Walton’s website lists "cocaine nose" as one of the nasal reconstruction surgeries he performs. According to the description the surgery includes “perforations of the septum, infection, loss of supporting cartilage, scarring and eventual collapse of the nose” that sometimes occurs following chronic cocaine use.
The lawsuit includes various allegations, including that Walton and Plastic Surgery Chicago LLC are guilty of breach of fiduciary duty of confidentiality and violating the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The lawsuit states that under the law an individual’s written authorization must be obtained before a use or disclosure of protected health information is used for publication, teaching, marketing or commercial purposes.
The lawsuit also names the University of Chicago Medical Center as a defendant. According to the suit, Walton was employed by the Center when Kropp was his patient. Another plaintiff is the California company that designed and developed Walton’s plastic surgery business website.
Kropp is seeking compensation for damages. Kropp claims she “suffered great harm” because of the publication of the photos. She claims Walton should have known that publishing the pictures would cause her “to become distressed, shamed and embarrassed.”
Attempts by the media to contact Walton and a spokesperson for The University of Chicago Medical Center were unsuccessful Tuesday night.
According to the Smoking Gun, the pictures of Kropp, currently 55, were published in 2004. The pictures have since been removed from the website of the 68-year-old surgeon. The pictures of Kropp, who is not identified, are in the article.
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