Suit: Neurosurgeon snapped pic of patient's privates
A lawsuit filed in Superior Court on Thursday alleges that a local neurosurgeon took a photo of one of his patient's genitals and shared it with his wife.
Dr. Louis Kralick and Providence Hospital are both named as defendants in the lawsuit.
According to the complaint, the male patient was undergoing spinal surgery on December 8, which was conducted by Dr. Kralick at Providence's facilities, when the doctor took out his iPhone, pulled up the draping covering the patient's genitalia, and snapped "one or more" photos of the man's genitals while the patient was under anesthesia.
The complaint alleges Dr. Kralick then sent the photographs to "his wife or another third party", even though "there was no valid medical reason, justification, or excuse for Kralick's actions."
A compliance officer was among Providence's employees, the suit states, who is referred to throughout the complaint as "John Doe". According to the complaint, John Doe learned of the incident and told Kralick he should delete the photos.
"Doe either knew, or should have known, that the photograph(s) would be material evidence of a crime and in support of any civil claim [the patient] might wish to assert."
Shortly thereafter, the complaint alleges, Providence personnel contacted Anchorage Police to report Kralick's activity; an investigation was conducted and operating room staff cooperated, while Kralick did not-- refusing to give a statement to the police or participate in an interview, the complaint alleges.
APD seized Kralick's iPhone but without the password were unable to access the device, the complaint states.
"Kralick and John Doe both acted with reckless indifference to, and conscious disregard of [the patient's] health, rights, interests, and dignity as a person. Their actions were also outrageous and malicious," the complaint reads.
The lawsuit alleges that Kralick snapped the photo and shared it with his wife "solely for purposes of amusement and titillation".
The patient's attorney, David Henderson, shared with KTVA a handwritten letter sent to the patient's home in a Providence-branded envelope. It was dated January 5, 2018. For the sake of the patient's privacy, KTVA has chosen to not publish the letter.
Please consider this a letter of apology for inappropriate conduct on my part in the operating room on Dec. 8, 2017, while you were in the hospital. While I did not intend my actions to be disrespectful, I can understand why some members of the operating room staff might have thought otherwise, and as a result I sincerely apologize.
It was signed by Dr. Kralick.
Anchorage Police declined to comment, saying only, "We do not have any public statement to make on any open investigation wherein no one has been charged."
A Friday statement from David Shoup, an attorney for Kralick, denied the claims involving him.
"After a thorough review of the complaint, it is clear that the allegations against Dr. Kralick are completely and utterly false," the statement read. "Dr. Kralick is a well-known and highly regarded neurosurgeon. The claims being made against him will be vigorously defended."
Shoup's office declined any further comment Friday on the case or the alleged letter from Kralick.
Providence Alaska Medical Center provided the following statement on the incident Friday:
“Providence is unable to provide information on pending litigation. Additionally, under state and federal patient privacy laws and out of respect for our patients and family members, Providence cannot discuss specifics regarding patient care.
“What we can say is that in December we became aware of a potential violation of patient privacy. We immediately launched an internal investigation and notified appropriate authorities. Ultimately, we identified that the privacy breach could be a violation of Alaska criminal statute. Providence then contacted law enforcement.
“Here's what's important for people to know. Providence takes patient privacy seriously. We are always concerned for the welfare of our patients and employees and took immediate action after learning of the situation. Providence is fully cooperating with the appropriate authorities.”
Copyright 2018 KTVA. All rights reserved.
YOU MAY ALSO BE INTERESTED IN: