The reality series Trauma: Life in the ER is facing a lawsuit from two Florida men who claim that the show's crew violated their privacy rights when filming them after they were involved in car accidents. The men, along with many other people who feel that their rights were violated in the same way, want to turn the federal suit into a class-action lawsuit.
Trauma, which is no longer in production, gave viewers an insider's view of emergency room drama, real-life hospital technicians, and medical procedures. The plaintiffs, Jack Dosch and Angel Marrero, say that film crews wore hospital staff garb to blend in with actual ER workers, and that they misrepresented themselves to the patients in order to get signatures on release forms. Dosch and Marrero also accuse Trauma producers of selling footage to other companies.
Brandon Peters, a lawyer representing the pair, says that "Americans pay for the greatest health care service in the world, and they pay a premium. As such, patients deserve to be treated as dignitaries and not laboratory rats."
The defense claims that all patients who have appeared on Trauma signed release forms, or had the forms signed by next of kin. Charles Sims, an attorney for the series' producers, states that "consent is a complete defense."