81 women sue California hospital that put cameras in delivery rooms

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By Alex Johnson

Scores of women have gone back to court alleging that a Southern California hospital that installed hidden cameras in three labor and delivery rooms violated their privacy while they were “emotionally and physically exposed, and at their most vulnerable.”

The claim was first filed as a class action in 2016 but was denied class action status. It was refiled last week by 81 women who underwent procedures from July 2012 to June 2013, when the cameras were rolling at the Women’s Center at Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa, a northeastern suburb of San Diego.

As it did in 2016, Sharp HealthCare, the hospital’s nonprofit parent company, acknowledged in a statement Tuesday that it installed the motion-activated cameras and computer monitors, saying they were meant to catch the thief or thieves responsible for the disappearance of a powerful anesthetic from drug carts.

“Although the cameras were intended to record only individuals in front of the anesthesia carts removing drugs, others, including patients and medical personnel in the operating rooms, were at times visible to the cameras and recorded,” the medical company said.

“We sincerely regret that our efforts to ensure medication security may have caused any distress to those we serve,” it said, adding that images taken by the cameras “were used for this particular case only and have not been used again.”