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Calif. Judge Bans Anna Nicole Smith Breast Surgery Videotape

Posted Oct 6, 2008 4:10 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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In the latest ruling in a steady stream of medical privacy cases, a California judge has nixed a Texas doctor's claimed right to distribute videotapes of the 1994 breast augmentation surgery he performed on celebrity Anna Nicole Smith.

After granting a preliminary injunction against Dr. Gerald Johnson last year, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff has made a final ruling that the physician lacked Smith's permission to distribute the film, reports the Associated Press. Johnson reportedly began circulating it after the former Playboy Playmate of the Year and widow of an elderly Texas oil magnate died last year of an accidental drug overdose at age 39.

"Johnson has said he routinely records surgeries with the patient's permission and promises to keep the video confidential 'during the patient's lifetime,' " the news agency writes.

The ruling was made as part of a settlement on undisclosed terms, and the case was brought in California because Johnson had sold the videotape to a memorabilia dealer there.

More details about the case are discussed in an earlier ABAJournal.com post.

Earlier coverage on related issues:

ABAJournal.com: "127 UCLA Medical Center Workers Peeped Into Celebrity Files, Report Says"

ABAJournal.com: "Dentist Wins Toothy Coverage Case"

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