TAMPA, Fla. — A woman whose daughter tracked her down 32 years after she was given up for adoption sued a hospital for $3 million for the emotional distress it caused by releasing her medical records.
The suit filed in U.S. District Court by Charlyn Burton Goldman of Brookline, Mass., accuses Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg of negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress and invasion of privacy.
In the suit, Goldman said she gave birth to a daughter in May, 1954, at Mound Park Hospital, the city-owned predecessor of Bayfront Medical Center, and put the infant up for adoption through the hospital.
Goldman said that the child was adopted and that she never tried to meet the adoptive parents or ever tried later to contact the daughter.
She alleges that the daughter, Patricia Rigsby, went to the medical records room at Bayfront in November, 1982, and got an employee to turn over her mother's medical file, which she said contained enough information to lead Rigsby to Dedham, Mass.
According to the suit, Rigsby placed an ad in a Dedham newspaper and that led to her obtaining Goldman's telephone number from an acquaintance of Goldman.
The suit does not say when Rigsby contacted her mother but said the shock of being found by her natural daughter has left her in permanent emotional distress.
"(Goldman) has suffered severe and permanent injury to her nervous system and severe emotional distress and mental disturbance," the suit said.
A spokesman for Bayfront Medical Center declined comment on the suit.