PROVIDENCE, R.I. (CN) – A woman claims in court that a doctor who treated her for drug addiction invaded her privacy by using “her most private, embarrassing, and traumatizing memories in order to surreptitiously obtain material for the book … ‘The Addict: One Patient, One Doctor, One Year.'”
Gabrielle Lisnoff sued Dr. Michael Stein in Federal Court. Stein’s book was published by HarperCollins in 2009.
“(T)he defendant treated the plaintiff from approximately 2005 through approximately 2010,” Lisnoff says. “During the course of purporting to treat the plaintiff, the defendant elicited private facts and stories from her and probed into her personal affairs. Subsequently, without the plaintiff’s knowledge or permission, the defendant authored and caused to be published the aforementioned book about her life and history with drug addiction.”
Lisnoff claims she entered a Suboxone maintenance program overseen by Stein in April 2005, during which time she had regular appointments with him “several times per month.”
The complaint states: “In or about late March 2009, the plaintiff was conducting online research for a college class when she discovered a book written by Defendant Stein entitled ‘The Addict: One Patient, One Doctor, One Year’ (hereinafter ‘the book’).
“Subsequently, the plaintiff purchased a copy of the book and began reading it.
“To the plaintiff’s shock, surprise and dismay, many of the stories contained in the book were quoted from what she had told the defendant during her treatment sessions or were closely adapted from private facts that she had confidentially shared with him during her appointments with him for treatment.
“The plaintiff had expected, as any reasonable patient would, that her private conversations during her treatment sessions with the defendant would remain private and confidential and not be disclosed by him, and that he would not seek to profit from those patient-physician conversations.
“Until she first learned of the book’s existence after it was published, the plaintiff had been unaware that the defendant had written a book based upon information she had disclosed during her treatment with him.
“As part of his purported treatment of the plaintiff, the defendant solicited information regarding her most private, embarrassing, and traumatizing memories in order to surreptitiously obtain material for the book.”
Lisnoff says this was “highly objectionable to the plaintiff and would be highly objectionable to any reasonable person.”
She seeks punitive damages for intrusion upon seclusion, appropriation of name or likeness, unreasonable publicity to her private life, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, and a percentage of all profits from the book.
She is represented by Kristine Trocki, of Jamestown, R.I.