Sheila Harosky is suing the Pennsylvania hospital where she was formerly an employee after she says that employees took nude photos of her while she was on the operating table.
Harosky says that she learned about the photographs when she returned from surgery and a former colleague approached her saying, “I’ve got something for your scrapbook,” adding “it’s a little explicit.” The 45-year-old was a secretary at the hospital, and she told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, “I couldn’t believe what I was looking at. I looked up and said, ‘What the hell is the matter with you?’ And she thought it was funny.”
But now, Harosky is taking the health center to court and has named the woman who showed her the photographs as one of the defendants in her lawsuit. The doctor who performed the hernia surgery is also named in the suit. In a statement, the hospital said, “Washington Health System disputes the version of events that has been published and intends to defend the claim.” The institution also says that Harosky egged on colleagues by “bringing fake intestines into the operating room and requesting that they be placed on her abdomen as a practical joke on her friends, coworkers and the surgeon.”
The former secretary did say that she bought a prop at a Halloween store, explaining, “Dr. Brown is a known jokester, and I thought I’d play a trick on him. That’s how much I trusted him.”
According to the lawsuit, one of the nurses at the hospital was fired after the incident, but Harosky contests that she was harassed by other employees who may have been angry at her for getting one of their friends fired. She says, “It got to be too much” and that she was suffering migraines. Harosky claims that she went to human resources, but they did nothing, and she got the impression that they “just wanted [her] to keep [her] mouth shut.”
Eventually, Harosky took a leave of absence and was fired when she was about to return to work. The hospital says that’s not the case, and that they “afforded her accommodations to facilitate her return to work, and she refused those accommodations.”
She worked at the hospital for 16 years and says that she loved her job, telling the Tribune-Review, “I worked all those years to get a nice-paying job with benefits and retirement, and because I had surgery there, it’s all gone. All because of what was done to me while I was asleep, under anesthesia.”