A Smith County jury found a Tyler plastic surgeon negligent in a Facebook posting case and awarded a patient $140,000.
Dr. James R. Motlagh was found to have posted a video to Facebook showing his patient in the operating room under general anesthesia prior to surgery.
According to the patient's lawyer, her face, breast and pubic area were exposed and she was identifiable.
The jury found that by posting the video, Dr. Motlagh publicized private facts about the patient that would be highly offensive to a reasonable person.
The Texas Medical Board found that Dr. Motlagh breached doctor/patient confidentiality with one patient by taking photographs and video of the patient during a procedure and subsequently posting them on social media without consent in December 2015.
Dr. Motlagh was disciplined by the board and entered into an agreement with the Medical Board that requires that he pass the Medical Jurisprudence Exam within one year and three attempts and complete 24 hours of continuing medical education within one year that should be divided as follows: eight hours in risk management, to include HIPAA; eight hours in patient communication and eight hours in ethics. He also must pay an administrative penalty of $1,000 within 60 days.
"This jury sent a clear message to doctors to respect their patients' privacy and to keep their cell phones in their pockets during surgery," Jim Rodman, attorney for the patient, said.
Last year, Dr. Motlagh was sanctioned by the Texas Board of Medical Examiners for this incident.