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Patients sue dental clinic over video feed

Posted: 6:07 AM, Mar 11, 2016
Updated: 2016-03-11 16:01:04Z
SAN DIEGO -- Surveillance video inside private rooms at a University Heights dental office allegedly caught footage of a dental assistant accused of  sexually assaulting 13 women while they were under anesthesia.
 
However, three female patients are now suing the clinic over the fact that there were cameras in the private rooms at Park Boulevard Oral Surgery center. They are arguing that they did not know they were being videotaped.
 
Luis Ramos, 36, was arrested Feb. 3 on allegations he sexually assaulted an anesthetized 17-year-old girl while working as a dental assistant at Park Boulevard. Twenty more charges were later added involving a dozen additional alleged victims. Ramos is now accused of molesting 13 women, ages 17 to 62, from January 2015 through January 2016.
 
“In a private examination room a doctor needs to get your consent to be videotaped because you have a reasonable expectation of privacy when you are in a private room,” attorney Jessica Pride said.
 
Pride represents two of the three women suing Dr. Steven Podstreleny over the cameras. 
 
“They were both in private rooms, and there’s video surveillance in the rooms they were not aware of,” Pride said.
 
Dr. Podstreleny’s general manager told 10News that the clinic has always had a live video feed in the private rooms. The live feed was only viewable by the dentist and his technician. 
 
The clinic only started recording the video on Dec. 17. She claims the cameras are legal and patients sign a form saying they know they are being recorded.  
 
However, Pride told 10News she obtained her clients’ files from the office and there was no video consent form or clause in the paperwork her clients signed.
 
“There needs to be language in some off the documentation that they sign that actually explicitly asks if they are giving consent to either be photographed or videotaped,” Pride said.
 
Meanwhile, the clinic is facing another lawsuit from a patient alleging that months before his arrest , she complained to staff about Ramos' strange behavior and her complaint was ignored.