Hospital staff suspended over Clooney chart


NEW YORK -- A hospital where George Clooney was treated after he was knocked off his motorbike has accused about 40 staff, including doctors, of inappropriately looking at the movie star's chart, a union said Wednesday.

The Health Professional and Allied Employees union in New Jersey said seven of its members had been suspended for a month without pay by the Palisades Medical Center -- across the Hudson River from Manhattan -- over the incident.

Clooney, 46, fractured a rib and his companion, Sarah Larson, broke her foot when the two were knocked off his motorbike by a car late last month.

Union president Ann Twomey said in a statement the union's nurses and health professionals may have been authorized to view Clooney's chart. The union was investigating.

"While we believe that individuals need to be held accountable if they violated patient privacy, we also believe that the hospital had a responsibility to establish proper systems to protect patient privacy," Twomey said.

"The hospital instead rushed to judgment and imposed harsh economic penalties, instead of working to prevent future breaches of security," she said.

Hospital officials were not available for comment.

In statement to local media, Clooney said: "While I very much believe in a patient's right to privacy, I would hope that this could be settled without suspending medical workers."