Woman sues over display of medical file in breast cancer awareness ad

Monday, November 15th 2004, 9:30 am
By: News On 6

CARLISLE, Pa. (AP) _ A woman sued a health care provider for displaying her medical file in advertisements for Breast Cancer Awareness Week without her permission.

Donna Vozenilek claims that Harrisburg-based PinnacleHealth System wrongly displayed her name, Social Security number and birth date in the ads, which ran in two newspapers and a magazine. She claims viewers can also discern that she had a mammogram.

Details of the lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, were reported in Monday's editions of The Patriot-News.

The ads, which were published two years ago, violated a federal law ensuring the confidentiality of a patient's medical information, the suit says.

Pinnacle officials continued to run the ad unchanged even after Vozenilek demanded that it be pulled, leaving Vozenilek embarrassed and fearful that her identity could be stolen, the suit claims.

Stephen L. Banko Jr., Pinnacle's lawyer, declined to comment to the newspaper. In a court filing, he asked that the lawsuit be dismissed.

The half-page ad, titled ``In just 24 hours, a sigh of relief,'' shows a doctor holding Vozenilek's file. It ran in The Patriot-News, the Carlisle Sentinel and Harrisburg magazine.

Vozenilek's attorney, Karl Rominger, declined to discuss the case beyond the court filings.

Pinnacle operates the Harrisburg, Polyclinic and Community General Osteopathic hospitals.