Lawsuit: Woman alleges psychiatrist used confidential records to get cell phone number, start relationship with her while she was a patient

June 8, 2010

A judge has ruled a woman must use her name if she wants to go forward with a lawsuit she filed anonymously against a Lincoln psychiatrist.

The woman sued Dr. Jasung Kim and Lincoln Psychiatric Group in April, alleging malpractice and negligence.

She said he used confidential records to get her cell phone number and started a relationship with her while she was a patient.

In court filings, Lincoln Psychiatric Group denies any wrongdoing.

Kim argued the case should be dismissed if the woman is not named in the suit.

The woman -- who must file an amended complaint with her name within two weeks if she wants the case to go forward -- had argued that public disclosure of her identity would result in "humiliation, embarrassment, emotion anguish and risk exacerbating her psychological problem."

But in a recent order, Lancaster County District Judge Karen Flowers said the risk that she may suffer embarrassment or humiliation does not outweigh the presumption of openness in judicial proceedings.

And, Flowers said, the woman did not offer foundation to support the last of her claims.

It is rare for cases to proceed anonymously in Lancaster County. Those that do tend to involve minors who have been sexually abused.

In February, Kim's license was suspended based on allegations he had a sexual relationship with the woman who sued, as well as another patient, both in 2009, and had used patient records to contact her and shared his patients' names and issues with her.

Sexual relations between a physician and patient are considered unethical because of the potential for exploitation. Revealing confidential patient information also is unethical.

A formal hearing on his license is set for June 23.

Source: Lori Pilger, "Judge: Woman must use name in lawsuit against Lincoln psychiatrist," Lincoln Journal-Star, June 8, 2010

IF YOUR PSYCHOLOGIST, PSYCHIATRIST OR OTHER MENTAL HEALTH PRACTITIONER HAS ENGAGED IN THREATENING, VIOLENT OR SEXUAL BEHAVIOR WITH YOU, REPORT IT TO THE POLICE AND TO CITIZENS COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS, WHO CAN ASSIST YOU IN FILING REPORTS, COMPLAINTS, ETC.  PLEASE CONTACT STEVE WAGNER, DIRECTOR OF LITIGATION AT swagner@cchr.org

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