WALNUT CREEK (CBS SF) — The family of a Bay Area man who was nearly killed in a horrific motorcycle crash earlier this year is now suing a paramedic for posting graphic pictures of the crash victim’s injuries on social media.
The 21-year-old victim who identified himself as Keyano spoke about his ordeal seven months after the Vallejo motorcycle accident cost him his leg, and almost cost him his life.
While his family deals with new challenges of caring for the young man who had to have one of his legs amputated, they told KPIX 5 about something one of the paramedics who rushed Keyano to the hospital did that added insult to his devastating injury.
“I actually didn’t really read the hashtags until someone brought it to my attention,” said one family member.
The paramedic who transported Keyano to the hospital posted a graphic photo of his mangled leg on an Instagram account.
The text to one of the posts read, “This is what happens when you’re careless in the rain on a motorcycle” and included hashtags like #byebyeankle, #thelouderyouscreamthefasterwego and #oncethedoorscloseyourassismine.
Keyano’s brother learned just how dire the situation was when a friend told him about the photos and comments that were posted by someone he didn’t even know.
“We were devastated. I mean, he’s my little brother,” he explained.
The family has decided to take action and file a civil lawsuit for the unlawful disclosure of medical information.
When KPIX 5 contacted the ambulance company, Falcon Critical Care Transport, a representative said, “no comment” and insisted they knew nothing about the legal action.
But the paramedic who posted the photos deleted them two days after they were posted and sent out a public apology to the family via social media.
“When you’re an EMT, don’t you abide by laws and regulations?” asked Keyano’s mother. “What were you thinking?”
“It certainly is now raising the red flag for people to say, ‘You know, you better think twice.'” said KPIX 5 legal analyst LaDoris Cordell. “If you take these photos, you better think twice about what you do with them. If there are pictures of people who are injured or hurt, the law says that information should be your private information.”
Because the paramedic is a medical provider and took the photos in a hospital, privacy laws will come likely into play.