Man Awarded $500K After Doctor Was Recorded Insulting Him

The anesthesiologist could also be heard giving the man a false diagnosis.

ByABC News
June 24, 2015, 6:38 PM

— -- An anesthesiologist is eating her words, after a Fairfax County, Virginia, jury ordered her and a Bethesda, Maryland practice to pay a patient $500,000 in damages for medical malpractice and defamation.

The patient, identified only as "D.B." in court papers to protect his identity, was undergoing a routine colonoscopy in April 2013 at a Reston, Va., facility.

According to court documents, D.B. used his smartphone to record the doctor's instructions for post-operative care but forgot to stop the recording when he was sedated.

On his way home from the procedure, he started listening to the recording and found that the anesthesiologist, Tiffany Ingham, and other medical staff had made insulting comments about him while he was unconscious.

"Really, after five minutes of talking to you in pre-op, I wanted to punch you in the face and man you up a little bit," Ingham could be heard saying in the recording. The recordings, which were entered into evidence in the lawsuit, also caught Ingham writing a false diagnosis in D.B.'s chart.

"I'm going to mark hemorrhoids even though we don't see them and probably won't," she said in the recording. "I'm just going to take a shot in the dark."

After the three-day trial last week, the jury awarded the man $100,000 for defamation, $200,000 for medical malpractice and $200,000 in punitive damages.

"We finally came to a conclusion," juror Farid Khairzada told The Washington Post, "that we have to give him something, just to make sure that this doesn’t happen again."

Ingham no longer works at the Reston facility. Her attorney did not return calls from ABC News for comment. Aspokesperson for Aisthesis, the company that employed Ingham, told ABC News: "We apologize to this patient and regret the distress and suffering that this most unfortunate incident caused. The anesthesiologist involved is no longer with our practice. Once we learned of this incident we assured that every anesthesia staff member reviewed and reiterated their pledge to abide by our professional organization’s code of ethics."