Woman Sues Brooklyn Doctor for Correctly Diagnosing Her With HIV
The 31-year-old woman, identified as Jane Doe in court papers, was receiving treatments for vitamin B12 deficiency when she got the shock of her life — learning she carries the virus that causes AIDS.
Adding insult to injury, the suit alleged, Dr. Pavel Yutsis informed her of the devastating results without the counseling or support she needed — and the law requires.
“When he told me I was positive and threw the papers at me, I just went numb,” the woman recalled. “I was no good.”
The plaintiff, who hails from Harlem, was treated at Lifex Medical Care in Sheepshead Bay following gastric-bypass surgery she had at another facility.
A test showed her white blood cell count was low, so Yutsis suggested she get checked for HIV.
“(She) clearly stated that she did not want an HIV test,” according to the suit filed in Brooklyn Supreme Court last month.
But the doctor did the test anyway during a visit with his patient in September 2011, said the complaint.
State law dictates that such tests can only be administered with the approval of patients.
“It’s not about not wanting the results, it’s about her being able to make the decision of where and when she wanted the results,” said Daniel Pepitone, the woman’s lawyer.
That particular clinic, which provided only dietary treatments, was not where she wanted to learn such life-altering information, he added.
“I would have wanted to hear it in a better environment, from someone that I trusted,” said the woman. “I never felt comfortable in that place.”
The woman is suing for damages related to her “terror, confusion, embarrassment and emotional distress.”