Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Chen v. Zak

United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division

January 10, 2020

ROBERT L. CHEN, M.D., and ACACIA DERMATOLOGY, PLLC, Plaintiffs,
v.
BEVERLY ZAK, M.D., Defendant.

          HOLMES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          MEMORANDUM

          WILLIAM L. CAMPBELL, JR., UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. Introduction

         Pending before the Court is Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. No. 22). For the reasons set forth below, the Motion is GRANTED, in part, and DENIED, in part. Accordingly, Plaintiffs' claim under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is dismissed, and, in all other respects, the Motion is denied.

         II. Factual and Procedural Background

         Plaintiffs Robert L. Chen, M.D. and Acacia Dermatology, PLLC, allege Dr. Chen's former spouse, Beverly Zak, M.D., has violated the Federal Wiretap Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2510, et seq., and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPPA”), 29 U.S.C. §§ 1181, et seq., by making secret recordings in Dr. Chen's home and medical office. (Doc. No. 1). Plaintiffs allege the recordings include conversations involving Dr. Chen, his patients, and medical staff, and were made without their knowledge or permission. (Doc. No. 1).

         The facts relevant to the issues raised by the parties are as follows.[1] Dr. Chen is the owner and principal shareholder of Acacia Dermatology, PLLC, located in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. (Doc. No. 29 ¶ 17). In the summer of 2015, Dr. Chen discovered several electronic devices in the home he and Dr. Zak shared before their separation and divorce. (Id. ¶ 18). Dr. Chen was able to examine the contents of the recording devices in May 2016. (Id. ¶ 20).

         In the first recording (Summarized at Doc. No. 22-3, at 2) (“Recording No. 1”) at issue here, Dr. Chen is heard conversing with patients and staff, presumably at his medical office in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. (Id.) Dr. Chen testified at his deposition that it appeared “the recording device was on my person, and I was moving along. I went from room to room, in the hallway, et cetera.” (Doc. No. 29 ¶ 22). Dr. Chen speculated that somehow Dr. Zak activated the iPhone he carried in his breast pocket at work and recorded his conversation while he was walking around the clinic talking with patients and staff. (Id. ¶ 23). When asked how he thought the recording happened, Dr. Chen testified:

The only explanation that makes sense, is that she was able to turn on my - either in some manner, and I don't want to speculate at this point, my voice and other peoples' voices were captured on the iPhone, which I kept in my breast pocket most of the time, if not, all the time during that period of time.
And she was able to play the sound from my iPhone on a speaker device, which presumably could've been a cell phone of hers. And she then took the digital recorder up to that - at home in Nashville and recorded the goings on of what I was doing and all the conversations at that moment in Lawrenceburg.

(Doc. No. 22-1, at 29-30). When pressed as to how he thought the recording was made, Dr. Chen said:

Well, I can't speculate on how it was done. I would love to know how it was done. So it's either, you know, butt dial [pocket dial], or she might have hacked into my phone and installed malware, which you can remotely turn on someone's microphone on their phone in an attempt to secretly record them.

(Id., at 30-31).

         In the second recording (Summarized at Doc. No. 22-3, at 3-4) (“Recording No. 2”) at issue here, Dr. Zak is heard walking, talking to a baby, talking with an individual the parties identify as Carly Sisk, talking with Dr. Chen, and engaging in other activities and conversations. Carly Sisk was an employee of Acacia Dermatology and her office was inside the administrative office where the recording was made by Dr. Zak. (Doc. No. 29 ¶ 21). For a period of time during the recording, Ms. Sisk is heard giving biopsy results to two different patients, apparently ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.