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Tuesday, June 25, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Horrifying Complaint From a Blind Woman

LOS ANGELES (CN) - A woman who tried to kill herself by stabbing pencils into her eyes sued USC Medical Center for privacy violations, claiming that a photo of her injuries went viral after an employee shared the image.

Jane Doe and her conservator David Bliss sued Los Angeles County, USC Medical Center, and Joshua Shivers, whom she claims shared the video on a popular but unnamed social networking site, and wrote: "'I finally made it in life!! Please check out my shiz.'"

The woman, who is now blind in both eyes, says she was admitted to USC County Medical Center about two and a half years ago, and that an employee there, probably a nurse, took the photograph.

"This graphic and horrifying picture was taken without the knowledge, consent, or permission of Jane Doe," according to the lawsuit in Superior Court.

The unnamed employee then shared the image with a "third party" who passed it on to Shivers, Doe says.

Doe claims that on July 20 Shivers uploaded the image onto the internet, sharing it on "shock" websites.

Seven days later, Shivers used his mother's Internet connection to upload the image to a "popular entertainment and social media website," Doe says.

People have viewed the image more than 192,000 times, leaving comments that are "exceedingly hurtful, judgmental, and tasteless," according to the lawsuit.

Since her suicide attempt, Doe says, she has sought therapy, learned to read Braille and enrolled in college.

Doe also sued Shivers' mother, Linda Araujo.

She seeks punitive damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress, intrusion upon seclusion, public disclosure of private facts, breach of duty of confidentiality, and unauthorized disclosure of medical information.

She is represented by Neville Johnson with Johnson & Johnson of Beverly Hills. The attorney was not immediately available for comment.

Los Angeles County counsel did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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